Mental Well-Being

Moments of Distraction: How Healthy Avoidance Can Be Good for You

February 28, 2024

Most of us face stress in one way or another. Maybe you’re a long-term caregiver for a family member or loved one. Or perhaps you’re just kept busy with family, work, and life obligations. Whatever you’re facing, it can be difficult to—well, face it. But forcing yourself to engage with the problem or whatever is bothering you may not always be the right answer. In fact, sometimes a little healthy avoidance can be just the distraction you need to give your mind a break. That way, when the time comes to face the issues for real, you’re ready to take them on.

Moments of Distraction Are Not a Bad Thing.

You don’t always have to face whatever’s troubling you right away. Mindful thinking can help guide you through some healthy avoidance and distract you from the anxiety and stress associated with the problem. For example, maybe you’re stressed about an upcoming visit from family members. Through mindful thinking, you can put the visit in perspective—it’s in the future, not in the present moment, so why worry about something that hasn’t even happened yet? Additionally, you can also think about what you need to do to prepare yourself for the visit—an example of this might be organizing your thoughts into what tasks need to be completed prior to the visit and when you can reasonably finish them.

Dr. Benjamin McAllister, an adult outpatient psychiatrist at Hancock Health, has his own tips for mindfulness. 

“I tell my patients this is a marathon and not a sprint, and our team is here for the marathon,” said Dr. McAllister. “You can practice mindfulness on your own by focusing your breathing and paying attention to your senses to put you in the present moment. For me, I prefer exercise and listening to music as a way to stay mindful.”

But if you feel like you need some additional support, Hancock Health’s Counseling Services are available to help you. Call 317-468-6200 to schedule an appointment. 

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