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Understanding the effects of anxiety-related dysfunctional behaviors – health and well-being

Understanding the effects of anxiety-related dysfunctional behaviors – health and well-being

What can anxiety teach you about dysfunctional behaviors and how can these behaviors lead to short-, medium- and long-term losses? Anxiety is an emotion similar to sadness, anger, and others. In essence, emotions act as alerts to potential dangers, and in the case of anxiety, it is no different.

When you face a complex or new task at work and suddenly feel body discomfort, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, or headache, anxiety prepares you to face or avoid this “danger”—the new responsibility that must be fulfilled. Now, imagine that instead of tackling this new task in a timely manner, you decide to put it off, beginning the cycle of procrastination, which is essentially a manifestation of anxiety.

As an emotion control strategy, attempts to suppress, ignore, neutralize, or eliminate emotions may arise through dysfunctional behaviors, such as drug use, compulsive eating, and even excessive and inappropriate shopping.

Anxiety can arise in various ways as a way to avoid uncomfortable situations, and although these dysfunctional behaviors may seem harmless in the short and medium term, they can cause serious problems in the long term.

Therefore, it is important to note how these strategies used to maintain these behaviors affect your daily life. To deal with this in a healthy way, it is essential to understand your dysfunctional behaviors and, through functional strategies, learn to respect, express, experience, validate and learn from your emotions.

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