Self-soothing is also a set of neural pathways built long ago. Humans are born helpless and vulnerable. The first circuit in your brain?the foundation on which later experience is laid?is the urgent sense of having needs you can’t meet on your own. You learn to soothe yourself each time a need is met, with a little help from the world around you.
By the end of puberty, each brain has a cockamamie collection of self-soothing circuits. Many of these have value, but they have consequences, too. And if you keep repeating the same old self-soothing habits, you keep getting the same consequences.
If you repeat a new behavior for 45 days without fail, a new circuit will get established. So choose a new response to anxiety?and then invest 45 days of your energy in it. You will like the result.
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