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Are You Engaging In Emotional Novocaine? A PhD Explains The Sneaky Signs

Heinz points out that these distractions aren’t always a bad thing. With so much going on in the world around you, sometimes it’s comforting to think about, well, nothing at all. However, when you begin to lose control and engage in these activities compulsively, then you may consider dedicating a moment to be mindful of these actions.

When you catch yourself reverting back to whatever activity you tend to use as a numbing or distracting technique, ask yourself: “Am I doing this to avoid feeling something else, or is this what I want to be doing right now for pure enjoyment?”

The answer to this question will help you decide whether or not you want to continue engaging. If you realize you’re actively trying to distract yourself, then it may be time to truly let yourself feel the emotion at-hand, rather than continue avoiding it. Over time, Heinz explains, exposing yourself to these difficult emotions can increase your tolerance for challenging emotional states. This, in turn, will lead to better mental fitness overall.

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