How To Overcome Escapism And Addiction

Have you ever caught yourself escaping your problems or life situation? May it be that you were depressed, in debt or so unmotivated it felt like you were stuck in a trap. How do you escape reality? What are your addictions? Take a moment to think about it.

In this article we'll closely examine the causes and consequences of running away from your problems. Like the title suggests, you will also find a number of skillful pointers on how to overcome escapism and addiction.

Before we go any further, let me make a few things really clear. Life takes us through phases, sometimes you have a steady tailwind while other times you are struggling just to take a tiny step forward. Because of its changing nature, life can flow with ease or be most challenging.

It's okay to fail and to be imperfect, so whatever you do, don't judge or be hard on yourself. A forgiving attitude makes it much easier to let go of the past, and to move on. I can assure you that there is a way out of the hopelessness.

Now, let me share some insights with you...

The Causes Of Escapism And Addiction

Every experience you have is either pleasant, neutral or unpleasant. Another way of phrasing it, is that every thought that is processed is either positive, neutral or negative. As long as you are awake, this is how you perceive life. Either you like something, have a neutral reaction or dislike it.

In truth, it's not up to you whether you like an input or not, since the reaction or response takes place in your subconscious, at a split second.

Moreover, the mind loves to label experiences, that is our nature. Liking or disliking something has to do with your conditioning, or put in plain English, your previous experiences. Please keep in mind, that neutral reactions often pass by unnoticed, since they don't stand out.

Now, would you be inclined to escape your life situation and numb yourself with heroin, when your experiences are mostly pleasant or positive? Of course not, it's vital to understand that only negative feelings and thoughts trigger escapism. Again, neutral mental states mostly slip by unnoticed, and do not give rise to any unpleasant emotions.

The causes of escapism and addiction is unhappiness or suffering. That means, only unpleasant or negative mental states trigger escapism. Why then, is it unbearable to be unhappy or caught up in a seemingly hopeless situation?

As human beings, we find it most challenging to cope with negative feeling and thoughts, because it's unpleasant and we're not used to embracing them. What is more, we are afraid of our own negative emotions. That's why we are willing to do almost anything to cover up the discomfort. Do you recognize yourself?

As you already know, life is full of unhappiness and suffering. That alone, is reason enough to learn how to deal skillfully with everyday challenges.

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Types Of Escapism And Addiction

At the top of the post I asked you: How do you escape reality? What are your addictions?

It's highly individual, some travel as far away from home as possible, in an attempt to shake off their problems and start a new life. While others stuff themselves with food until it literally hurts. Excessive sleep is another way to suppress unpleasant feelings and thoughts.

Alcohol, sex, drugs, cigarettes, tv, computers, mobile phones and keeping really busy, are also popular distractions. The stimulation lifts you up for awhile and offer you a break from your problems.

All of the above behaviors have one thing in common, that is, at the end of the day, you still suffer and feel like you are trapped in a hole. You're not making any progress, you're just keeping your head out of the water, while your life situation slowly deteriorates.

In short, escapism and addictions are not solutions to your fundamental problems. All they do is distract your attention from your negative feelings and thoughts, or numb your senses temporarily.

The Negative Consequences Of Escapism And Addiction

Who is going to pay for your heroin? Would you steal from your family and friends, or take up shoplifting? And who would enjoy spending time round you, when you are preoccupied with suppressing your unpleasant feelings and thoughts?

You are creating serious problems by isolating yourself, digging your own hole. Only misery follow in the wake of escapism and addiction. It could mean anything from losing your job, to ruining your physical and mental health. Running away from reality doesn't work, and it never has. Life catches up with you no matter how hard you try.

Escapism and addiction are not solutions to your problems, they are merely desperate measures you take to avoid your unpleasant feelings and thoughts.

Overcoming Escapism And Addiction

In order to find happiness and wellbeing, you have to deal with the root causes of your problems. Stop playing games with yourself and stop pretending that everything is okay. Rather, recognize that you have problems that you can't untangle without professional help. It's high time to step out of your comfort zone and invest in your own wellbeing.

The first step is the most difficult one to take since it requires both courage and motivation, but once you are in therapy everything starts to flow. You will have appointments and meet your therapist regularly, which breaks the isolation and gives your life some structure.

Seeking professional help makes the experience much smoother and also improves your odds of success exponentially. In my experience, talk therapy is an effective approach to verbalize your problems and release unpleasant emotions. It's a wonderful relief to talk to someone who listens attentively.

Facing your negative feelings and thoughts can be a painful process, yet the outcome is truly liberating. How about overcoming your destructive behavior and feeling happiness and ease.

Make sure you work with a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. Healing cannot take place unless you are relaxed, so look for a person you resonate with. The therapist may not be able to help you with all your issues. If that's the case, she can assist you in finding the appropriate treatments.

When it comes to therapy, it's of great importance to take on a long-term perspective. It's taken you years to create the state you're in, as a result, it will take time and persistent effort to heal the unpleasant emotions and change your habits.

Best of luck!

Related:   Emotional Healing   Facing Difficulties   Learning From Death

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