In order to run away from our problems, we distract ourselves, right? These behaviors are innate, or come naturally, to us, as we all develop avoidance techniques to avoid doing things we do not want to do, or think about.
The extremity in which we take avoidance is up to us, and depends on a lot of factors, including how severely the situation impacted our lives, timing, being prepared for the incident, etc. Avoidance behaviors can extend to developing a drug habit to simply just watching endless amounts of animal videos. It all just depends on the situation. Avoidance can come in the form of positive habits, as well, as they can also be seen as coping mechanisms.
The key to staying afloat is developing strong coping skills, which, in the end, may take a lifetime. In order to develop strong and healthy coping skills, it requires you to get to know yourself. Everything these days seems to be about getting to know yourself, but in order to find out what you truly like, in order to replace old, poor, and broke habits, this is a requirement. Avoiding or dealing with uncomfortable situations already sucks, so why replace a old, broken habit with another old, broken habit that you DO EVEN LIKE?
As you continue learning more and more about yourself, you slowly begin developing coping skills that you can use to avoid situations, in which you do not feel comfortable. However, avoiding forever is not healthy either – as this can become severly unhealthy for an individual. Finding hobbies or activities, such as our school work, joining clubs, volunteering, coloring, cleaning, hiking, running, swimming, working, etc. all count as coping mechanism skills to handle the unique stressors in our life. The great thing about coping mechanism skills is that we can grow and build on them, starting off as just a doodler, I am now a self-proclaimed, full-time color guru. I love coloring!
In order to avoid, for example, having to hear someone say rude things about you, instead of grabbing the nearest bottle (unless it’s water, juice, or non-alcoholic), maybe you grab a book instead. We all have excuses to act distracted, whether it be a upcoming test, avoiding a frenemy, or just life being stressful.
The key to upkeeping these activities and staying distracted from the white noise is finding things that ACTUALLY WORK FOR YOU and enforcing them into your life. While this may not be easy and you may find yourself falling back into old, nasty habits, as soon as you begin scheduling these things in and truly thinking about your actions before you proceed, you will find that there is plenty of room for these activities in your life. Being bored is a choice – you have a choice about the way you feel and how you would like to proceed making you feel better. Short-term satisfaction feels great in the moment, but does it truly last? The first and final answer is “no.”
In order to truly feel the satisfaction that you crave from life, you must exert the amount of effort you wish to receive back. This cliché most of the time is correct, IN THE LONG-TERM. Long-term goals are not supposed to be easily reached, as they will take a LONG time to truly engrain in your mind, in order to master the coping skill.
The best times to act distracted: when you feel your heart rate rising, your thoughts are beginning to race, and you find yourself in a pickle.
While being distracted has its’ negative connotation, sometimes you can find mindfulness in your distractions. Sometimes dwelling on our thoughts and problems obsessively is not the best way to handle life, and EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL HAS A UNIQUE, MASTERED WAY TO AVOID, AND THEREFORE, HANDLE THEIR PAINFUL THOUGHTS AND LIFE.
The realest challenge about this is sticking with it and wanting to do it for yourself. At first, doing things for others may seem easy, but after a while, your true colors do show. Do these distractions for yourself and you will find permanent fufillment in these activities.
Coping mechanisms skills are important, as our lives will not be a breeze forever. We will hit bumps in the road quite frequently and we will need to find ways to deal with this. The path you take, healthy or unhealthy, is ultimately up to you. The amount of power you have over your life is incredible; you have the ability to control every action and reaction you make towards life. To abuse this priviledge, while it is common, is a waste. Do not spend your ENTIRE life wasting it with mindless, unmeaningful things, but fill it with the mindful, meaningful experiences you deserve.
Feed your soul the new hobbies and activities it needs to flourish. Do not let your precious skills be put to waste! Or, do let the fear of trying something new, get in the way of staying distracted. Once you have learned how to actively and productively distract yourself, there is truly no stopping you, OTHER THAN YOU.
Who knows…these distractions could lead to new opportunities, friendships, memories, and experiences. You have no idea that your little hobby or obsession can take form as, as it could be something that could whisp you off your feet.