Healthy Healing Escapes
We will struggle with difficulties. It is a given of our existence. An automatic reaction may be, “I can’t believe this is happening to me,” instead of, “I am glad I am struggling so I can gain wisdom.” I don't face disappointment, loss, or hurt with joyous acceptance. The emotions associated with difficulties are discomforting. We are not designed to be happy and welcoming to trouble. The ability to see possible meaning gained by struggles may soothe some discomfort but not completely rescue us. We should not push to process more than our personal resources are capable of processing. We all have limits. For us to endure pain longer than we are equipped will deregulate our biological system. We become susceptible to helplessness, anxiety, depression, and physical ailments.
Knowing personal emotional limits helps us chart our way through the difficulties. We will encounter emotional strain that is too much to process. This doesn't mean we are weak.. It means we are human. The healthy person does not surmount every challenge but effectively evaluates challenges and overcomes the ones that are within their realm of power. The the challenges beyond our current abilities, we need patience.
Healthy escapes can assist. We need mind breaks from problems that are presently; an escape from the drudgery of day to day life. We need hobbies and activities we find pleasure in. Engaging in activities that provide pleasure recharges energies and rejuvenates self-discipline. They provide strength to re-engage in life.
Not every distraction has equal value—distraction alone is not the solution to the torments of life. If distraction was the answer, a nightly trip to the bar would be an easy solution. Some escapes contribute to living skills; others do not. When we engage in activities that increase valuable skills, we are better able to improve the content of our lives—exercise, reading, or meditation can serve this dual purpose.
The torments lose their sting when we are able to momentarily escape them and recharge vital energy. The slightest change in balance provides tremendous mental health benefits. With growth, energy and experience we can surmount challenges that were overwhelming before. New successes lead to confidence, and confidence to further growth. Small changes can have enormous effects on our lives. Mental health retreats are an example of a few small changes we all can implement.
5 Mental Health Escapes to explore:
Any healthy escapes can become an obsession. The healthy aspects lose effectiveness when the escape distracts rather than adds to the other important elements of our lives. Balance requires regular evaluation and occasional adjusting to best serve our complex and dynamic lives.