How Avoidance Creates Stress

When you have an especially difficult or stressful task on your plate, it can be really tempting to avoid completing that task. Or it could be you don’t like to think about a certain subject because of an experience, so it seems easier to just not think about that topic. Both of these situations are known as avoidance, and though it can be extremely tempting to engage in this behavior, it usually causes more stress than it relieves. 

You Won’t Stop Thinking About It

If you’ve ever experienced trauma, it can be tempting to avoid all thoughts of things that may remind you of the trauma you experienced. Although this may be less painful in the moment, the truth is, long term, this will stress you out more because the thoughts of your trauma will always return – usually when least expected – until you genuinely learn to deal with them rather than avoid them. 

The same holds true for certain physical tasks. You may put them off because you don’t want to think about them, but this will only stress you out more because you will have to keep thinking about the task instead of simply completing it now.

You’ll Run Out Of Time

When you put off a task, you might momentarily relieve your stress by telling yourself you will complete the task later. However, this is worse than doing the job now, because later you will experience more pressure as you are faced with a fast-approaching deadline for a task you still dread doing. This is especially true if you haven’t left yourself enough time to complete the task and have to rush at the last minute. Not to mention that you likely won’t perform that task well. 

Avoidance Creates Conflict

Perhaps a coworker is waiting for you to complete your work so they can get started on theirs. If you didn’t leave yourself enough time before the deadline, you may cause them to be late meeting their deadline as well. This can cause a conflict between you as your coworker may rightfully be upset that you made their work late. When you experience conflict in your relationships, this adds to your overall stress level rather than lowering it.

While it can be quite tempting to avoid certain tasks or put them off, this is a flawed approach as it will only cause you more stress in the long run. This is because avoidance never solves problems. Instead, it creates conflict, which leads to increased stress in the future.

Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!