We can all get pulled into situations where our emotional energy gets diverted into pointless endeavors. Why is that? Sometimes those endeavors fill an unconscious need or desire that we may be avoiding. At the heart of everything, human beings are controlled by an instinctual, emotional side. Our emotions signal to us our preferences, mental state, and physiological condition. However, when they get misdirected, they can hinder our focus, direction, and motivation to deal with whatever we need to do. This leads to escapism, where we fixate on tangential issues, other people’s lives (in real life or media/reality television), or tune out with activities that give us quick and easy pleasure (ex. playing addictive games on a smartphone, bingeing on Netflix, partying 24/7).
The trap that most of us seem to fall into is seeking out short-term rewards as opposed to working through temporary discomfort and holding out for the long term. Then, we wind up falling into complacency and make social comparisons and excuses as to why we are stuck and others have had better “luck” than us.
Thoughts for the Week
Nonetheless, the most successful tend to acknowledge their emotions, ask, “so what can be done about this situation?”, and then stick to a consistent routine instead of engaging in avoidance behaviors and/or wallow in their negative emotions. The energy behind the emotions ignites them into action because it becomes a choice between feeling trapped by problems or walking towards long-term happiness and fulfillment.