Archive for October 6th, 2007

Sunlight Shining Through Trees (c) Lynda Bernhardt

Distraction is the first coping tool I mentioned on my post, Positive Coping Tools for Healing from Childhood Abuse. Distraction can be a good coping tool, used in moderation, to help you get through the difficult times.

Distraction includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

  • Books
  • Computer games
  • Television
  • Radio/Music
  • Movies

Distraction is a tool you can use to give you some relief when you are in a lot of emotional pain. For example, when I was struggling with very deep grief, I would sometimes pop a Friends DVD into my DVD player to cheer myself up. For 23 minutes, I would forget about my own troubles while I laughed along with whatever hilarious situation the characters were facing.

Sometimes laughter can be the best medicine. After the show was over, sometimes the pain was not quite as bad. Even if it was, at least I had a short reprieve from the pain.

Reading a good book or going to a movie can have the same effect. What is nice about a movie is that you can “lose yourself” for two hours in a dark room where you have no other distractions.

Sometimes I like to listen to a relaxing CD while I curl up with a good book. Losing myself in a book while listening to music that is different from what I am feeling can be an effective way to get me through a difficult night. Throw in a scented candle, and I can “escape” the pain for a couple of hours and maybe even fall asleep without a struggle.

Mindless computer games can also offer a nice short-term distraction from the pain. You can listen to a relaxing CD or the radio while you play anything from Solitaire to Jewel Quest and focus your energy on getting a high score rather than on your pain.

Distraction used to excess is ineffective because it is suppressing emotions that need to be released. However, used in moderation, distraction can help you keep your sanity.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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