Creating an Emotional Retreat
Emotions have the tendency to take over our actions and reactions, despite the fact we prefer to claim otherwise. Society often sees emotions as a sign of weakness, so we became used to putting them away and try to focus on the logical aspects more and more. But no matter how strict and rational you desire to be, you will always be a human being, instead of a robot, and so you will always have feelings.
Positive emotions are a life long goal for some of us. What is more essential, in the long term: how much money you made during your life or how many times you had a good time? Nevertheless, people are inclined to put their positive emotions in the dark shadow of their negative feelings. This is one of the most prominent problems we come across during our lives. There is no definative gameplan to ignore a negative experience and try to replace it with positive ones. It just doesn't work that way.
As a kid, if your goldfish dies, you would be very sad. Your parents will likely buy you another goldfish, but the sorrow still takes months to go away. Things get even more serious with adults. A fight with your mate the night before will cloud your whole day. You will go to work angry, tired, with your mind wandering. Then you will go home with an even worse mood. On the way from work towards home you won't be able to appreciate the sun shining and you won't be tempted to stop at the corner store and get your favorite ice cream. All that because that one negative thought is contaminating the way you perceive the reality around you.
At this point you will feel that locating a safe place to relax your mind would do wonders. And that place is actually easy to get to. It could be an actual location or an imaginary place. The best idea is to totally submerge yourself in it. Let's say you have a problem on your mind and it just won't go away. Go bowling! You don't know how to bowl, you say? No problem, go out and try it! Get caught up in the game, think about those silly looking shoes, choose a favorite ball, play around with new ways to throw and so on. Your mind will suddenly move from the negative thoughts that owned your last hours or days and start processing a totally new type of information.
A safe place can acquire many shapes. It can be a song, a movie, even a person. The most important thing is to permit yourself to get completely involved with this new activity. You can still get flashes of the problem every now and then - dismiss them and get even more involved in what you are doing.
When the bowling game, the song, the movie or the conversation ends you will have a rather abrupt return to your problems. You will likely feel depressed and want to go back to the safe place. Don't do that. The safe place lives only as a helping hand, not as a solution to all of your problems. It is there to help you relax your mind, for a few minutes or hours.
This is a critical stage in your solution to what is eating at you. You will return from your safe place with an increased energy level. You will feel better about yourself and gain more confidence that any matter can be solved. This is how a small escape from a harsh reality can increase your fighting energy and allow you to solve even the most difficult problems.
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