Quit Escaping! Your Well Being Depends On It.

5-12-2016 3-55-02 PM

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.

 

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Quit Escaping! Your Well Being Depends On It.”

  1. Nice read. I was just writing about this in my diary recently. My mum and Gran used always say ‘wherever you go, there you are’. I never understood it as a kid. Thought it was one of those funny Irish sayings, you know, the Irish taking the piss out of themselves. Like duh, obviously wherever you go, that is where you will be! Literal interpretation of a child. That’s not of course what the saying means. You can change up all kinds of things on a grand scale, move house, job, country, thinking you are doing it for the challenge, the adventure (which is sometimes true) but sometimes it’s just an avoidance tactic. Once the newness of the house, job, country wears off you realise you are just as miserable as before you left, the distraction has worn off and you come face to face with the demons from which you were unconsciously running. Wherever you go, there you are!! The shadows won’t be denied, they will come back louder and louder demanding to be heard, or acknowledged. They won’t take the hint when you ignore them or avoid them, they won’t ‘go gently into that good night’ to quote Dylan Thomas. The best thing to do for yourself is have the courage to face them head on. You will probably find they are not so scary when you look them straight in the eye and say, ok then, let’s be having’ ya!!

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      1. Good to know.. I’ve actually been throwing the idea around of going to a yoga class. I do some stretches/yoga somewhat regularly and I’m always amazed how much better I feel afterwards.

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  2. Great post enjoying your thinking. The mind requires the escapism it is a negativity within us and will distract and bring about our destruction with as you well said forms of escapism, these usually are negative to very extreme forms of negativity which is evil past times. It is easy to break free of these one by not having a TV this will give you freedom. Exercise is great not so sure about yoga, stretch the body and muscles are good. Meditation is another form of escapism too takes you into an illusionary place by the mind once again. Complete break means to work from the Soul.

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    1. To add to this, I didn’t consider the other side of the coin, beneficial escape behaviors. I mediate regularly and it has vastly improved my overall well being. It’s not so much an escape like watching TV, but more of an immersion into what really exists, the present. I guess this would be more of an escape from the reality we have created in our minds?

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  3. So true! We often want to escape from what is hard and uncomfortable. But of course, that is what helps us grow and develop as a person towards our vocation or life mission. Great post and reminder about striving to stay present. I also meditate and it has helped me greatly to see when I am “off.”

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