Behavioral Activation

Behavioral activation might sound fancy, but it’s really just getting yourself to do the things you already want to do so that you experience more positive emotions. When we’re feeling sad, down, or unmotivated, we end up avoiding things that might actually help us feel better. Avoidance can end up just perpetuating our negative emotions.

For example, think about exercising - maybe hitting the gym or going for a walk. You might feel down and decide not to go, but then later you start feeling guilty for not going or even more down about how you couldn’t even get yourself to go to the gym. Avoiding exercise actually made you feel worse.

Behavioral activation tries to change that cycle of avoidance. Setting a schedule for exercising, or having a friend go with you or text you to motivate you, can get you up and moving. You will probably be able to come up with a bunch of different excuses not to go, but challenge those. It’s almost guaranteed you will feel better after doing the thing you are avoiding!

This applies not only to exercising but all those other little tasks you’ve been putting off. Hold yourself accountable, push yourself, and you’ll start to feel relief, instead of guilt, for tackling the tasks you’ve been avoiding. 🙂

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