Safety Behavious in Anxiety and the advantage and pitfalls of using them.

A Safety Behaviour is an act of doing something to prevent or shorten the uncomfortable feeling we feel in certain situations.


Safety behaviours can be very useful in times of extreme, stress and anxiety, and can keep us safe.


It’s really important to identify what behaviours you use to manage and deal with your anxiety and here is why……


Your safety behaviours will make you feel more comfortable in the situation by providing temporary relief from anxiety. However, in reality this is the same as covering a crack in the wall with a picture or doing a temporary repair on something. You believe that the only way you survive situations is because of the measures you put in place to control your anxiety. But actually, what it does, is tell your subconscious that every time you come across a particular situation, you are in danger, and it will take you into the fight or flight response every time. By carrying out these behaviours, you are feeding your anxiety.


This weeks video takes you through some examples of safety behaviours. See if you can identify yourself in any of these. Enjoy the listen…….



Some common safety behaviours used to manage Anxiety:


  • Taking a different route when travelling because of a previous bad experience suffered by either yourself or someone you know. (General Anxiety Disorder)

  • Not driving for fear of having an accident. (General Anxiety Disorder)

  • Not flying through fear of the plane crashing. (Phobia)

  • Accepting an invitation to a party and then using an excuse not to go nearer the time due to fear of how people may judge you. (Social Anxiety Disorder)

  • Avoiding a situation or place that has an association with a previous panic attack. (Panic Disorder)

  • Seeking constant reassurance that you are not ill or going to become ill by constantly talking to family and friends, making regular appointments to see your GP or searching for symptoms on the internet. (Health Anxiety)

  • Using stairs instead of a lift. (Phobia)

  • Avoiding situations that may bring back distressing memories through fear that you will be in the same danger as before. (PTSD)

  • Carrying out obsessions and compulsions through fear that something terrible will happen if you dont. (OCD)

  • Wearing excessive make-up, sunglasses, baggy clothes through fear of people seeing your flaws that you believe are there. (Body Dismorphia Disorder)


Do you need help learning how to identify your, type of anxiety, your triggers and your behaviours? Do you suffer with constant or annoying thoughts that you cannot get rid of? All of these problems are fixable and I have created a 90 day programme called 'Action Against Anxiety' to help you learn, manage and combat your own anxiety.


Check it out here: https://www.happylife-coaching4u.co.uk/action-against-anxiety


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