When you’re stressed, upset or angry, a pretty common coping mechanism is to turn to one of many distractions to take your mind off of things. Some of those distractions are good for you. Some of them not so much. That’s not what today’s post is about though.
What I want to have a very frank conversation about today is whether or not you are using those distractions in an unhealthy way.
Sometimes, distracting ourselves is a super healthy strategy. You go and do something else to get your mind off of the situation. Oftentimes you end up figuring out the solution to your problem. Or you choose to spend some time doing something you enjoy and feel less stressed as a result. From your less stressed perspective, you’re able to handle things more effectively to make the situation better. Or maybe even realize that your stress was over nothing. These are good and healthy distractions.
Not So Healthy Distractions
On the other hand, distraction can sometimes be unhealthy. These are the ones that numb the anger, pain or sadness but don’t actually lead you closer to a resolution of the situation that triggered the feelings in the first place.
It’s a temporary feel-good that instead of moving life in a positive direction, numbs you long enough for the pain to pass. They are distractions that you can justify because they aren’t too bad for you – like watching TV, playing video games, having a drink or two to unwind. They might even be good for you – like running or cleaning.
The challenge with these kinds of distractions is that they don’t actually help you. They temporarily make you feel better, but the challenge you were distracting yourself from still exists. The challenge is going to come back and trigger your unpleasant feelings again. And again.
This is when it’s time to take a look at your distractions.
What Are You Avoiding?
If you’re using distractions to keep you from looking deeply at a situation, the best thing you can do is take a look. As Louise Hay says:
“If you’re going to clean a house, you have to see the dirt. If you’re going to clean a turkey pan, if you’re going to clean the dishes, if you’re going to work on yourself, you have to see the dirt that you’re cleaning, and then when you do that, you can do lots of good affirmations.”
I’m not necessarily advocating for affirmations here (though they are a marvelous tool). The point is, you’ve got to see the dirt that you’re cleaning. When you see it, when you stop avoiding it with those distractions, you then have the power to do something about it.
Doing something about it can be scary. I get it. I’ve been through enough of my own experiences to know that the best thing you can do for yourself is to get help. Over the years I’ve hired coaches, therapists, energy workers, psychic channels, lawyers, and more. The key is to get yourself some support that will help you to overcome the barriers that are making you seek distraction in the first place. All that’s needed is to get started.
Did you recognize your own unhealthy distractions? What’s underneath them that you need to take a look at? What support might you need to make it happen?
Photo Credit: Samuel Silva | Flickr.com