Accepting negative experiences as part of life is not about taking a masochistic attitude. Obviously we do not have to live looking for suffering. But do not even avoid it as the plague. We must learn to give space to these mental contents or experiences that we do not like because they are an opportunity to learn something from ourselves.
Why would this bother me?
Why do I want to avoid it?
What does this emotion say about me? They can help us to know each other better.
In addition, instead of consuming so much energy to keep these hidden content, we can use it in an attempt to solve the problem or to assertively assert the emotions we are experiencing. So we can grow as a person. However, if we limit ourselves to avoid those experiences that we do not like, our inner self, will diminish more and more.
Much of our inconvenience depends on trying to avoid the difficulties, to be reticent in front of any sadness experience. There is no doubt, shrinking pain drives us to the heart of problems. This theory is called experiential avoidance and is the set of all the actions we are taking to free ourselves, deny, to divert what does not bring pleasure in our lives.
Saying this way you might think it is something positive or even a sort of defense mechanism that protects us. But reality is quite different. Experienced evasion also has a dark side that we usually do not consider and which makes us slaves of these emotions, situations or thoughts that we want to avoid. Obviously, if we apply experiential avoidance from time to time to avoid unnecessary suffering we can take advantage of the advantages of this technique. But if it becomes a habit it can be a great danger.
In fact, at first glance it seems a concept more than sensible. And it is. But over time, this kind of attitude leads us to avoid situations that we do not like at all costs, and these become a demon to exorcise, rather than something that we have to face and resolve. So we end up to avoid problems, but that does not mean they will disappear.
Also, we must not forget the rebound effect. That is, the more we propose not to think about something, the more the idea becomes obsessive. This is because a hypervigilance mechanism is activated in our minds, in order to divert the idea as it appears, but with this mechanism the only thing that is obtained is to keep the idea active in our minds. So instead of feeling good we come into an endless cycle of negativity.
Accepting negative experiences – The positive distraction and the process of internal eviction
When experiential avoidance becomes a habit, positive distraction, it is no longer productive, necessary, and entertaining, and turns into a mechanism that leads us to flee from ourselves and problems.
In fact, in recent times due to the growing inability to live the internal emotional states and the increasing tendency to project itself into the outside world, many people have become professional dissociators. This means that we have learned to isolate or hide those problems that are more difficult to think about just what we find comfortable or easy.
If we imagine that our mind is a physical space, like a warehouse, we can understand that hiding or hiding some content does not make them disappear, but forces them only to occupy a precious space. Of course, this is just a metaphor, but we must keep in mind that to maintain this dissociative state we must consume energy, a quantity of energy that we could use to solve problems and grow with them.