A - Anesthetizing

Anesthetizing is an avoidant coping mode which seeks to dismiss dreaded thoughts and emotional discomfort by replacing them with pleasure. The intentions are to sooth emotional pain and promote the sense of well-being. Unfortunately chronic emotional pain can lead one to habitually anesthetize discomfort. The self-soothing can become addictive, manifesting in various ways. Chronic smoking, overeating, compulsive gambling or shopping, risk taking, alcohol and chemical abuse and sexual addiction are all forms of this maladjusted coping mode. The intention to promote pleasure and well-being becomes its opposite--a source of suffering. The problem with all avoidant coping modes is that they aggravate the underlying fear and dread. The more we avoid our painful feelings with habitual self-soothing the more we need to anesthetize.

The practice of mindfulness and Radical Acceptance of our emotional experience provides an important emotional shift that returns a critical degree of choice to us. Radical Acceptance of our thoughts and emotions can reduce the need for avoidant coping, providing the critical option to achieve the same ends in an advantageous manner.


Record your answers to the following questions in your JOURNAL:

This Compensatory Mode is active in my life. The evidence that confirms this is as follows:

This Compensation Mode is not active in my life. The evidence that refutes this is as follows:

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