The other night I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning watching Frasier reruns… I really needed to belly laugh (Niles is hilarious)!

I needed to distract myself… to get my mind off everything I was trying to accomplish and refresh myself. In a way it was about releasing thought patterns that had me going around in circles for a few days. It created distance… a mental and emotional reboot. It felt really good!

Laughter is such balm for the psyche and the body. Walks in nature, dance, a great movie or novel, art and the enjoyment of beauty… all these distractions can actually be great to boost energy and prompt new thoughts and ideas. Then we can return to the important things in our lives feeling renewed and really give our all with inspiration and enthusiasm. Distraction as refreshment feels good.

Distraction also has a double edge… distraction as escape… keeping crazy busy, watching too much TV, being addicted to computer or social media, etc. This kind of distraction can really keep us from facing our own life, unhappiness or unfulfillment. We just want to escape. We know when this other side of distraction is present because we are not really deriving any pleasure or enjoyment from the activities. There may be a feeling of being disconnected from our feelings. We are just filling in time. Sometimes this distraction comes in the form of being so wrapped up in the lives of those around us that we never have to face our own discontentment. This kind of distraction does not feel good. When this kind of distraction sets in, it helps to have a bag of tools to lift out of the doldrums:

First… Self Inquiry… Some questions to ask:
•What is really going on with me?
• How do I really feel?
• What do I not want to do that I feel I have to do?
• Who or what has me feeling obligated or guilty?
• What am I concerned or fearful about?
• How can I release the negative energy and bottled up feelings?
• How can I lift my spirits/vibration?
• What is one thing I can do to empower myself?
• What boundaries do I need to create to honor myself?
• What values of mine are being compromised?
• What will soothe and inspire me?
• What do I deeply desire that I still need to create in my life?

Contemplating these questions will give you clarity and help you sort out your feelings. Notice which ones have resonance and an emotional response. 

Next… Shift The Energy… Take Deliberate Action:
• Movement… Dance freely to loud, happy music. Exercise. Bike. Power Walk. Anything aerobic to get your heart rate up.
• Meditation and Prayer. Be Still and Listen.
• Journaling… Allow your thoughts and feeling to flow freely.
• Cleaning and Organizing… Really clean vigorously and thoroughly! Organize drawers, closets, cupboards. This gives a feeling of order and empowerment… of taking control… of newness and a fresh start.
• Music… really can change your mood and perspective. Make a list of music that creates a positive emotional response from you… upbeat and happy.
• Magazines and Books… Relax with beautiful images and things you are passionate about and that give you pleasure.
• Movies… especially comedies. Laugh!
• Sports… Tennis? Golf?
• Nature… flowers, trees, wildlife, the ocean, lakes, or streams.

Once we have honest answers to our questions and why we are choosing to escape… then we can use our bag of tools for distraction to refresh ourselves. It is in the relaxation and the letting go of forcing solutions and circumstances that our most creative ideas will emerge naturally. It is really important to commit to our own happiness and well-being.

Life is a gift to be enjoyed! Here’s to feeling good!