D - Distraction

Distraction is an avoidant coping mode that diverts our attention away from dreaded feelings and concerns by engaging us in other activities and undertakings. Distraction is categorically avoidant because it actually attempts to supplant one thing for the other. It is as if working hard or having an affair will make problems in our personal life nonexistent. When a person practices Distraction he or she embraces a diversion as if it were an all inclusive reality. In the “spell” of the diversion-reality, other things don’t exist. While climbing Mount Everest or crossing the Pacific in a sailboat, for example, all personal problems might vanish for good. This is the fantasy of those who practice Distraction.

The problems however do not vanish. The dreaded emotions and thoughts merely grow stronger and greater distraction seems necessary.

Mindfulness and Radical Acceptance of our emotions and thoughts provide a viable alternative that can reconcile us with Existence. We can accept the pain and misfortunes that leave us feeling hopelessly inadequate. Gratefully, feelings are not always facts.

Record your answers to the following questions in your JOURNAL:

This Compensatory Mode is active in my life. The evidence that confirms this is as follows:

This Compensation Mode is not active in my life. The evidence that refutes this is as follows:

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