Distraction tactics used with intention can really help people deal with powerful and uncomfortable emotions. What exactly is a distraction, and what kinds of distractions might be useful? Chaos appears in a multitude of forms, with varying degrees of severity and extent. For instance, discovering that your car has been stolen is distinct from having a date that you had high hopes for abruptly cancelled? However, despite their differences, each of these circumstances can leave you feeling emotionally wounded and internally disorganized. It’s critical to have strategies at your disposal that can help you refocus and work toward a calm state in situations like these. Coping mechanisms do this.
People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently feel intensely unpleasant feelings like fear, rage, grief, and shame. Because these feelings can be so challenging to manage, PTSD sufferers may turn to harmful coping mechanisms like drinking or using drugs (self-medicating).
Alcohol and narcotics can temporarily dull an overwhelming mood, but their use is a temporary solution. Long-term alcohol and drug use frequently result in more intense emotions as well as other issues. Given this, it’s critical to develop coping mechanisms that won’t put you at risk for long-term harmful effects in order to deal with really powerful emotions when they arise. Distraction is among these abilities.
What is distraction?
Distraction, as the name suggests, is whatever you do to divert your focus from intense emotion for a short period of time. A powerful feeling may occasionally feel much stronger and more out of control if you concentrate on it. Therefore, you might give the emotion some time to lessen in intensity and become simpler to control by temporarily diverting yourself.
What are not distractions?
The word “temporary” is a crucial component of the definition of distraction given above. The goal of distraction is not to run away from or avoid an emotion. It is implied that when you are distracted, ultimately you will go back to how you were feeling. You will next attempt to utilise another ability to handle the emotion, such as expressive writing, once the intensity of the experience has diminished.
By preventing dangerous actions (like drug use or purposeful self-harm) that happen as a result of a powerful sensation, distraction can keep you safe in the moment and make a feeling easier to deal with in the long run.
How it works?
It may seem obvious that diverting your attention from a strong feeling would be beneficial, and research backs up this notion. Distraction seems to be useful for controlling emotions in conditions like depression, chronic pain, and even anxiety-related diseases like PTSD. There appears to be a physiological explanation for these observations. Researchers have shown that PTSD and specific brain regions are strongly associated.
Play a game of memory
Look at a detailed image for 5 to 10 seconds (such as a cityscape or other “busy” scene). Turn the picture face down and try to recreate it as best you can in your imagination.
Select a single or a pair of broad categories, such as “baseball teams,” “ice cream varieties,” “mammals,” or “musical instruments.” List as many items from each category as you can in your head for a minute or two.
Use numbers and math
Even if you struggle with math, numbers might help you find your core. Try:
Mentally going through a times table.
Counting down from one hundred
Pick a number and come up with five different methods to make it (6 + 11 Equals 17, 20 – 3 = 17, 8 2 + 1 = 17, etc.).
Think of a poem, song, or chapter from a book that you have memorized. Say it out loud in your head or quietly. As you say the words out loud, notice how each word appears on your lips and mouth. Imagine each word that appears on the page as you speak the words in your head.
Make a joke on yourself
Make silly jokes perfect for candy and popsicle sticks. Watching videos of your favourite humorous animals, clips of your favourite comedians or TV shows, or anything else you know makes you laugh will make you laugh too.
Imagine Performing a Daily Task You Enjoy or Don’t Mind
Consider how you’d store a finished load of laundry if you enjoy doing it. When the clothes come out of the dryer, they feel warm. They have a delicate texture that is yet slightly firm. Despite spilling over the top, they feel light in the basket.
Your Own Distractions Can Be Found
Try to create a list of distractions that you can employ on your own when you are struggling to deal with a strong feeling at the time. The more ideas you have, the more adaptable you may be in choosing the best course of action based on the circumstances. At first, this could seem artificial and forced, but over time, you’ll notice that it becomes lot simpler and nearly intuitive to divert your attention from challenging feelings.
If you are searching for “top psychologist in India” connect with TalktoAngel an online counselling platform and connect with the best online counsellors and psychologist online.