Escape Behavior – A response that is designed to move away from aversive stimulus by withdrawal or entering a fantasy world.
Life can be a bitch, it’s no secret. We all have experienced the deep urge to escape at some point. Some more than others.. In this day and age, escape can be found around every corner. Social media, internet surfing, porn, video games, Netflix binging, etc. These are all ways in which we can escape our reality temporarily to avoid the discomfort life can bring. What many may not realize though is how damaging this can be to our overall well being. It may feel great to escape at first, but once you come back, you’re right where you left off. The more you escape, the more shit in your life gets built up, the more stressed out you get, the more you feel the need to escape.
The worst part about all this is sometimes you don’t even realize that’s what you’re doing. Maybe you complete one task, then your inner voice justifies watching three hours or your favorite TV show. Or maybe you’ll be at work, and the next thing you know you’ve been scrolling through Facebook for the last two hours because you’re avoiding the work that’s built up. Our minds are masters at tricking us into comfort and seeking external stimulus to get our fix of dopamine (feel good chemical in the brain). That’s why it can be so difficult to do the things that bring discomfort. Physical and mental. If you can relate to any of this, I suggest you become more aware of your actions and escape behaviors you partake in.
There is some good news however.. You can break the cycle! First step is to simply become aware of the escape behaviors you partake in. Second, identify what you are trying to escape from. Once you have identified the root cause of what’s making you flee reality, work on correcting it. By limiting or eliminating your escape behaviors, you will learn to cope with the uncomfortableness of reality. Thus, making you better geared towards dealing with adversity. Work through the discomfort instead of escaping it. The more you do this, the more well equipped you’ll be to deal with whatever life throws your way.