Another important function of having unhealthy substances and unhealthy habits in your life is to assist you in ‘changing channels.’
To understand this concept, imagine that you are watching Channel Two on television, which is featuring a horror movie that is extremely scary and unsettling to you. If you don’t like watching blood and gore, you simply take the remote control and — click, it’s gone — you are watching a game show on Channel Four.
Remember, the show that disturbed you on Channel Two is still running, but you are no longer thinking about that; instead, you are focused on the questions being asked on the game show. You have successfully changed your consciousness by directing your attention away from something you don’t want to think about to something that is more pleasant for you.
The ease with which we have learned to change television channels is directly related to the way in which you use your unhealthy habits.
Drinking, overeating, compulsive shopping, overworking in a stressful atmosphere and gambling, all enable you to quickly change emotional/thinking and thought direction; in essence, you have changed ‘thought’ channels.
Thrill seeking does the same thing. Did you ever get behind the wheel of your car and drive so fast that you literally “put your problems behind you?” At 80 mph and above, you have no choice but to focus all your attention on the road.
All potentially unhealthy behaviors share the same feature — the ability to change channels, quickly and with very little effort.
In fact, much of our society today has been seduced into a lifestyle that encourages and promotes changing channels. That is one of the reasons that so many people spend hours in front of the television, immediately turn on the radio when they enter their car, or become movie addicts.
This need for fantasy and escape has become pervasive, and in some cases, destructive. Under the guise of relaxation and thanks to modern technology, we have been seduced “to get away from” our feelings, moods, and thoughts.
If it’s uncomfortable, don’t think about it — don’t feel anything! Turn on your “Play Station” — Sit in front of your computer, watch a video movie, turn up the stereo, watch the sports channel for hours on end, go to a party, or play a video game by yourself or with others.
Let’s not talk about any of our problems — ever! Our ‘escapist society’ allows us to run in many tempting directions escaping our problems and the real world.
As we bury our problems under a mountain of technological diversions, we also bury pieces of ourselves.
Soon, we become a “fugitive from life itself.”
Soon, there is so little of our ‘real selves’ left unburied that we have become programmed androids going about the day’s activities only a ghost of our former selves.
And it goes on, and on, and on. Finally, we find that we have lost our healthy coping responses to life’s situations and we don’t develop new ones because an unhealthy habit works efficiently and effectively every time.
This is a brief excerpt from the book Take Control Now! by Dr. Marc Kern, founder of Habit Doc. It is important to him that you, the reader, realize that he has complete empathy for your life situation. He knows that simply by reading this, either you or someone you care about is experiencing deep personal difficulties at this time.
His book is a product of his extensive training and personal experiences as a practicing Clinical Psychologist. Now is the time to put your trust in someone who cares, someone who knows, and someone who has been there and back. Let his book and other training be the guidepost that leads you onto the pathway back to a satisfying and fulfilling life.
Do you want to take steps to stop the shame and embarrassment of being under the control of unhealthy habits? You can start by learning from material here on the Habit Doc site.
Get a FREE download of Take Control Now! Chapter 1 Highlights.
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