Distract = Extract

In case you did not notice (or are too stressed to realize it like the majority), April is Stress Awareness Month.  It’s no secret that stress causes harmful effects on our physical and emotional well being, and the best way to rid our lives of stress is to relax.  Most ways to de-stress revolve around distractions.  Essentially, distractions lead to the extraction of undesirable thoughts and feelings.  Taking a break from our mind chatter is rewarding in many ways and can be achieved through many types of distractions.

Albert Einstein was genius when he said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”  A shift in our thoughts cultivates clarity and flexibility in our reasoning skills.  When we change our perception, we are able to tackle our stressors in a more calm and relaxed state of mind.  Mental clarity can also affect the way we talk to ourselves, and you may notice a more optimistic and patient inner dialogue after a distraction.  Positive self talk leads to an increase in self-esteem, which ultimately aides our ability to tackle problems.  Overall, distractions help re-focus our mental facility and allow for creative resolution.

Distractions manifest in a variety of ways.  Most common types of distractions include hobbies, vacations, exercising, and socializing.  Ultimately, distractions affect our five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.  For instance, aromatherapy is an excellent tool to distract your olfactory sense which can arouse and enhance psychological and physical well being.  In addition, more and more people are distracting themselves through Pinterest and connecting with others on social networking sites.  All are amusements that help stop the mind chatter and allow for a peaceful, zen-like attitude.

Does this mean distractions can be a good thing?  Yes, if it takes your mind off of what is causing you stress.  Ultimately, distractions are another form of creative expressions, and they are healthy for us individually as well as for our relationships.

Two disclaimers are in order to validate appropriate distractions.  First, be mindful of healthy and unhealthy distractions.  A life built around a repertoire of healthy distractions can lead to a happier and relaxed lifestyle, while unhealthy distractions are those that inevitably cultivate stress.  Also, please don’t mistake distraction for denial.  Reshaping the way you respond to stress does not discount our innate need to express our emotions and feel them all the way through.

As we create, we distract and extract ourselves from the mundane tasks in life and live more happy lives.  Therefore, distract away.  Repin and status update to your heart’s content, and create the low stress life you want to live.

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