In a society where there are more and more external stimuli and where the objectives are to achieve success, it is easy to fall into autophobia. By this same name, not many definitions come to mind, however, it is something that is spreading too quickly. Autophobia is about fear or phobia of being with oneself. Although it seems strange, this fear of being with ourselves is increasingly frequent.
Throughout the article we will investigate the roots of this problem. Concepts such as mindfulness and acceptance will be addressed, as well as the development of a good emotional education. Undoubtedly, it is an interesting topic at the same time disturbing. How have we been able to be afraid of being with ourselves? At what point in the social structure is the ruling ¡Adelante!
Autophobia: Are we afraid?
As described in the introduction, autotobia, also known as monophobia, is the fear of being with ourselves. It should be noted that it should not be confused with the fear of loneliness. Autophobia can be experienced even surrounded by people. The simple act of confronting ourselves can become paralyzed. It is a phobia, no doubt, very striking and destructive for those who suffer from it.
But what is hidden behind this phobia? There are different explanations to address this fear, but the most obvious is the lack of emotional education. Since we are born, our social conditioning begins. Society and modern demands for success can lead us to become completely disconnected from ourselves.. What does this mean? That, although we don't believe it, we don't know each other.
Emotional education is essential to know and investigate ourselves. Learning to manage our emotions and thoughts is key to achieving adequate welfare states. When we live only concerned with the external, we forget something important: we. It is true that in this outsourcing we are "we" in the form of work to pay bills, in the form of studies, in the form of purchases, leisure ... But it is not an internal "we", in which we deepen our mind.
How long does it take to take our cell phone out of our pocket when we have nothing to do? Possibly a few seconds. Not knowing how to handle our thoughts or emotions, every time we are alone or feel alone, we begin to be invaded by uncomfortable sensations. Exact! They are our uncontrolled thoughts and emotions. We get scared of ourselves! The easiest thing is to take out the phone, put on the television or do any type of activity to entertain us instead of dealing with ourselves. In this way, it is not strange that the addiction to mobile devices is growing. But what can we do?
Mindfulness and acceptance for autophobia
Behind the autophobia hides this fear of facing our own thoughts and our emotions. We are unable to endure a while with ourselves because we do not know how to deal with everything that happens in our mind. We feel drowned. When every thought becomes an arrow and every emotion becomes something painful, we tend to run away and externalize our behavior.
Not knowing how to handle ourselves, little by little, we accumulate negative situations that we have not been able to solve. In this way, when we are alone or when we are with more people but we feel alone, we feel that our mind is a volcano. That is why, so important, start taking action. What is the way to overcome autophobia? Mindfulness and acceptance are two techniques that will help us work this fear. What is it about?
Mindfulness, mindfulness, consists in paying attention to the present moment. When we focus our attention on the present, for example, on breathing, our mind stops attending to those thoughts and emotions that fill us with sadness or anger. It is important not to judge them. Through mindfulness we will learn not to identify ourselves with our thoughts or our emotions, because we are neither one nor the other.
"Meditation is being aware of what is happening right now: in your body, in your feelings, in your mind and in the world."
-Thich Nhat Hanh-
It is true that if we think about drinking and drinking we can say that we have carried out an action through a thought. However, thoughts are variable and changing. Today we can think that we will not know how to face our problems and in a few weeks we will be able to "eat the world". Thus, we realize that thoughts are manageable and learned. This is why it is so important to learn to observe them, not judge ourselves and not identify with them.
As the meditation expert Jack Kornfield states: "Mindfulness invites us to return to the now, to the present moment, instead of obsessing ourselves thinking about a past that no longer exists or fantasizing about a future that has not yet arrived". The author also states that "With the power of mindfulness, we can be fully present in the face of the unbearable beauty and inevitable tragedy that our human life entails. We can embrace with dignity the life that has been given to us and take care of it".
Acceptance is a process. psychological through which we internalize what has happened and accept that the facts can no longer be changed. However, acceptance is a very active process, it does not mean agreeing with what has taken place, it means that what happened, happened and touches looks forward. It is time to take measures to prevent a painful situation from happening again.
Through this process, the most frequent thoughts will also stop invading us. What can we learn from negative experiences? Through this issue, we can transform obsessive negative thoughts into learning.. Thus, acceptance also represents an active learning of what has happened to us and we have not been able to solve.
"Attention is a way to make friends with ourselves and our experience."
As Jon Kabat-Zinn, physician and world reference in the practice of mindfulness, affirms, "in order to reach higher levels of health and well-being, we should not start from the place we would like to go to, but from the place where, right now, we are ". In this statement, we observe that through mindfulness it will be easier for us to practice acceptance.
Kabat-Zinn goes on and comments that "The step that leads to greater health is only possible from the place where we are. 'Now' is the springboard of all future possibilities. That is why we insist so much on the need to carefully contemplate our symptoms and feelings in this regard and to accept them as they are".
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2016) Live fully the crises. How to use the wisdom of the body and mind to cope with stress, pain and disease. Barcelona: Kairós Publishing House.
Kornfield, J. (2018) The best moment is now. Madrid: Uranus editions.