Learning how to stop wasting your time on distractions can be tough. Let’s face it, Netflix is awesome and a glass of red can be super fun, but when we start to use them as a way to feel better or distract ourselves from challenges, the addiction becomes its own problem.
The most common illusion to control would be when we become addicted to things that are normal and socially common and not inherently bad. Like scrolling endlessly on Facebook or jumping online to buy another pair of those yoga pants.
Right now a lot of things feel out of control, so if you're drinking more than normal, being impulsive, are part of the 17 per cent rise in online shopping sales or being more of a perfectionist than ever, cut yourself some slack.
Last time my girlfriend and I moved house, it was the standard stressful stuff plus a bit more. On top of lugging boxes and having electricity and internet connected, we both wanted the new place to really be ‘us’.
So we shopped for dinner plates. We both gave each other all the time we needed to pick up and put down ones that weren’t exactly right—because we knew amid uncertainty over whether tradesmen would show up and if our bed would fit up the stairs, choosing plates was something we could control.
Sometimes I have a stressful day at work, where I get worried about the outcomes of things, maybe have a couple of challenging conversations with people.
I go home and I just want to rest, and can’t be bothered applying what I know to myself. I’d rather just zone out and defuse my stress by letting TV wash over me.
Thing is, I never feel better after watching TV because it's a false sense of control. I'm not changing anything, just giving myself a distraction that prolongs the inevitable.