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Friday, August 30, 2013

15 Healthy distractions to deal with stress and boredom

Distractions….whether we admit it or not, we all need some type of distraction from society. Society is stressful in general and in order to deal with stress, we need distractions. And when it is not stressful, it can be achingly boring. It depends on the individual. Some of us love to go to work, but we hate coming home. And then there are those of us who love coming home but hate going to work. Even if we love going to work, there is always a stressful element threatening to push us over the edge. To help us get through we need healthy distractions.

My definition of a healthy distraction is something that will not hinder your life, isn’t dangerous and isn’t illegal. I can think of several examples of unhealthy distractions , but just to name a few.... Drugs are dangerous, watching “bad” videos at work is a really “bad” idea and drinking while driving is just idiotic.

So here are some healthy distractions:

1.       Going for a walk: You can take a break from work or home and go for a walk. Good scenery is a bonus.

2.       Meditation/Prayer.

3.       Exercise: I don’t do this enough. But find an exercise that relaxes you and it will become a lifelong friend.

4.       Read a good book: If you are like me and don’t have as much time to read, consider getting an audio book. It isn’t the same as holding a book in your hand, but it is just as much fun and has nearly the same benefits.

5.       Sing.

6.       Play/Listen to Music.

7.       Play with children: I remember one week I watched my infant daughter; I got behind in my work and spent the following weeks catching up. But that week with my daughter is a week that I will always cherish. My son and I don’t play chess very often, but when we do—we have a good time. Play with your children. It is a blessing on many levels.

8.       Laugh: I like to watch cartoons that make me laugh on a daily basis. Some of the funny cartoons/shows can be mind-numbingly dumb, so choose carefully.

9.       Watch/Play Sports: Hey, its football season and basketball is right around the corner. Enough said.

10.   Paint.

11.   Draw.

12.   Write: I have found that daily writing is as relaxing as reading. I have a goal when it comes to writing. Ambition tends to take what is a fun hobby and turn it into something less enjoyable. So make it a point to find a good balance between fun and work, if your hobby has potential to be a future occupation.

13.   Create Jewelry.

14.   Dance.

15.   Spend time with loved ones.

There are hundreds of possiblities. The most important thing for you to consider is what you are doing and why you are doing it. Take a moment to reflect on these ideas and other things that you can do that will have a positive impact on your life right now.

When we take some time to consciously "distract" ourselves in healthy ways—as opposed to accidentally distracting ourselves in unhealthy ways—we interrupt the negative things that bring on stress and boredom. Thus, we are one step closer to having peace and joy in our lives.