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What are your strategies?

While distractions and addictions are different they also have similarities.  The underlying emotions and reasons and why people feel pulled to them are some of the similarities.

In society today, the popular but not necessarily healthier ways to cope vary from drinking to numb or escape problems, scrolling mindlessly for hours on a device and eating for self comfort are some of the ways.  However, none of these will help you resolve the stress you are feeling.  All of these can lead to more stress and create dependencies and addictions.  They can develop without awareness and one day when you want to stop, you can’t.  

The primal part of the human brain understands that you want to be happy and feel good.  Each time you do something to feel good the dopamine hit will last about 15-20 minutes.  After this the brain fires up and says, do that again.  The problem is that the brain doesn’t differentiate between healthy dopamine and an unhealthy dopamine.  It’s primal function is to protect you and help you feel good. 

A couple of years ago a friend was talking to me about her son who had just turned of age to drink.  He came home pretty stressed from job hunting, opened the fridge, took a beer and said, “Man, I need a beer.”  My friend took the beer out of his hand and said, “Oh no you don’t.  You don’t drink because you’re stressed. Go for a run or work out the stress.”  She was very matter of fact.  I for one was very impressed and the story has stayed with me ever since.  

“Work out the stress.”  She didn’t say ignore it, don’t think about it or do something to take your mind off it.  She said run or work out the stress

Ignoring events that are stressful, or emotions that we don’t want to feel will resurface.  When they get bad enough we can get really good at distracting ourselves from them until they become the size of a mountain.  If we haven’t been taught how to work through stress in a healthy way then this is where we may look for ways to mask instead of ways to solve.  

Learning to retrain your brain to choose healthy habits and break free of the unhealthy distractions and additions is entirely possible.  Choosing healthy habits to deal with stress or finding someone to talk to are great ways to develop positive coping strategies that leave no physical or emotional hangovers. 

With much respect and kindness, 

Michelle Nesbitt,  

TNM Certified Coach.    TIR Facilitator.      Reiki Practitioner.

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