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7 Escapes from Stress

Most people need some escape from life's stresses. Are your escapes serving you?

Mohamed Hassan, pxhere, Public Domain
Source: Mohamed Hassan, pxhere, Public Domain

To try to cope with life, many of us use self-soothers, play mind-games on ourselves, even lie to ourselves.

Here, we look at a fourth tool for managing stress and anxiety. Sometimes it's wise to escape feelings of anxiety, but other times it's not. But it's unquestionably wise to consciously decide whether, how, and how much to escape.

To that end, would you like to maintain, increase, decrease, or not use these escapes?

Consuming Fiction: This includes reading, watching TV, playing video games, and participating in such in-person events as CosPlay, Trekkie, and Society for Creative Anachronism meetings. Of course, you need to weigh the COVID risk/benefit of attending a particular event.

Extended travel: This might include trekking to a far-away wedding or to the Himalayas in search of enlightenment.

Solohood: Even extroverts need some alone time to recharge or for some freedom to do what they want, when they want, how they want. But some people escape further—they make solohood their way of life.

Living remotely: Some people, tired of the challenges of big-city living, move to bucolic surrounds. Even many ultra-wealthy performers who would more conveniently live in New York or Los Angeles have moved. Examples: Steve Martin grew up in L.A. but now lives in Brevard, North Carolina (pop. 7,829.) Meryl Streep lives in Salisbury, Connecticut (pop. 3,598) and Tom Hanks lives in Ketcham, Idaho (pop. 2,791.) Until he was 84, Robert Redford lived in Tesuque, New Mexico (pop. 1,008) and on his ranch 16 miles north of Sundance, Utah.

Live in a reclusive community: An even greater escape is to live in a reclusive community such as a monastery or cloister. There can be a fine line between a religious community and a cult. A key differentiator lies in how much physical and psychological control is exerted to restrict participants' freedom. Of course, we all know the sad stories of Reverend Sun Young Moon’s Unification Church, the Charlie Manson cult, and Reverend Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, in which his control of members was so strong that he convinced nearly all of the almost 1,000 of them to drink the cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. 909 died.

Mind-altering substances: These include, alcohol and marijuana.

Some other form of escape (Specify):

The takeaway

It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the possibilities for escape. So, as you review your answers to the above, you might aim to find just one that you'd like to use more, less, or stop.

I read this aloud on YouTube.

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