Sometimes life hurts. And pain is not something most of us enjoy, and in particular, pain is something that your brain is programmed to avoid. When life frustrates us or causes us pain, it is frequently obvious as to its source. There are also times when our subconscious becomes frustrated and hurt. On both counts our brain moves to protect us by either fighting back, or avoidance. This is our primal “fear or flight” programming.
A strategy often employed by our brain to help us run from our problems or our pains, is the use of substances and/or behaviours which distract us from that pain. Although everyone is unique there are some commonalities in these strategies: the use of alcohol or drugs, the use of recreational sex, and even more complex avoidance strategies such as becoming involved in repeated unhealthy relationships. You may wish to consider these behaviours as the Universe’s Rumble Strips! Just like when you are driving a car and drift out of the lane and hear the roar of the rumble strips on the side of the highway, these behaviors alert you that you are in imminent danger, and you need to make a course correction fast!
The biggest problem with these common strategies is that although they may temporarily numb the pain and frustration of life, these strategies fail to actually provide a solution to that which is causing us angst. It sure would be a lot easier if life came with an instruction book!
Solving our problems and facing our challenges can take both bravery and time. An effective place to begin this work is to utilize proven healthy strategies and tools that alleviate the pain and frustration in the short term, while you work on solving the cause over the long term. An experienced therapist can be a critically helpful guide in this process. By integrating years of training, and accessing the wisdom of other clients who have successfully traveled this journey, a good therapist can minimize the trials and errors of finding solutions, achieving goals, and feeling better.
Give us a call, we can help. Not just because “we’ve been there, done that,” but because we’ve learned from the experiences of hundreds who have faced unhealthy habits and addictions, and we can bring this wisdom and experience to your life.