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Ever Want to Escape from Your Life? What to do when you feel like running away and why escaping probably isn’t the answer.

Greyscale image of women climbing down a fire escape


Being stuck in limbo between the life we have and the life we fantasize about is a miserable purgatory of discontent and no place to live.


The average American spends like four years of their live escaping reality in things like tv, alcohol, and food. But for some of us we are obsessed with what is wrong in our lives and we spend much of our time in our head going over every detail of what is wrong and how we can fix it with our fantasy plan to escape it all.


Unfortunately running away just won’t fix it…




According to Wikipedia, escapism is mental diversion from unpleasant or boring aspects of daily life, typically through activities involving imagination or entertainment.[2][3][4] Escapism may be used to occupy one's self away from persistent feelings of depression or general sadness.


Wikipedia also mentions Norwegian psychologist Frode Stenseng's arguments that there exist two forms of escapism with different affective outcomes dependent on the motivational focus that lies behind the immersion in the activity. Escapism in the form of self-suppression stems from motives to run away from unpleasant thoughts, self-perceptions, and emotions, whereas self-expansion stems from motives to gain positive experiences through the activity and to discover new aspects of self. 


Why we want to RUN


We are wired to avoid discomfort and to move toward pleasure, it’s literally how we are built for survival. When we feel pain in our life we naturally we want to run from it, to escape.


Many of us feel pain in our lives and want to escape things like:

    •  Not being engaged or liking our job
    •  Don’t feel in love or loved
    •  Thinking the grass is greener elsewhere
    •  Our life being a mess or feeling out of control
    •  Being busy and overwhelmed
    •  Not being who we thought we would be


Our brains don’t know the difference between fantasy and reality so we begin to escape into fantasy more and more because it literally feels good.


Why it’s NOT the Solution


Wherever we run, we take our problems with us, because we create our life with our thinking. If you don’t change your thinking you end up re-creating the same life you ran from in the first place.


If you are bored or too busy you have to address the habits that created those situations for you.


Fantasies are THOUGHTS and you are in control of your THINKING


Fantasies are okay when they are leading you to achieve what is possible in your life. If you can constructively look at them and understand the seed of why you are thinking about them.


For example:


Connection and Love

Maybe you fantasize about leaving and finding a new husband. You think he will be better and you will be happier and feel more connected. But the truth is. You are responsible for how you feel. If you are not feeling connection to your husband it is your thought creating that lack. If you can't find the feeling of connection with your current husband you likely won’t find it with another.


Adventure or Excitement

Do you fantasize about having an exciting life full of travel and adventure? Do you think if you run away and start over somewhere new you will somehow live a different life than you do now? Do you think new people or new surroundings will magically give you the adventurous feeling you crave? Maybe at first but you will soon show up as the old you. The you that doesn’t see the possibilities. You can decide to include travel and adventure into your current life right now. You decide, you think it, you do it. You don’t have to escape to get there.


Calm and Ease

You think if you escape you can leave it all behind and start with a clean slate, but before you know it you will create the same packed schedule you have right now unless you change your thinking. You don’t have to run away, you have to decide what you want and then have your own back. You have to say no to people, sometimes even yourself. You have to stop thinking I’m so busy and start thinking what will create ease in my day.


Understanding the seeds of your fantasies will allow you to take action within your current life, no escape required. After you have done this work and find contentment where you are you can make changes that are more dramatic from a place of awareness and with your eyes open to reality.


If we want new results, we need a new way of thinking.


What else can you do?


  •  Decide what you really want in your life and create it right where you are
  •  Spend time on true self discovery
  •  Ask for help, get coaching or counseling
  •  Spend some time alone, take a little personal time
  •  Remove to dos and things that don’t light you up, no matter who it let’s down
  •  Find a way to focus on something else besides what you don’t like about your life and actually take action.
    •  I hate to say get a hobby but…try new things until you discover some things you are passionate about
    •  Seriously If you want to travel then travel
    •  If you want to meet new people then meet new people
    •  Actually focus on what you can do, the opportunities not the restrictions


Running Away and Fantasizing is only Temporary Relief

Understand that it is not your husband’s job to make you happy. It is not your job’s job to make you feel fulfilled, it is not your community’s job to make you feel at home.


You are in charge of your life. You decide how you want to feel and then you practice thoughts that drive those feelings, which will fuel the actions to create the life you love. That alone will get you there, right now, right where you are.


Let go of the poisonous thoughts that are bringing you misery, focus on what you can do and find your autonomy. While it’s not the job of others to make you feel a certain way - that leaves you as the responsible party for taking care of yourself.



I saw this on Quora and thought it was fitting to share with you, by Om Prakash Tyagi

But remember one thing ……


You will have to face yourself. You will have to face the consequences of what you have done in the past.



So, instead of asking ….


You had better ask yourself ……



I would like to add to that further with, how do I create a life I don’t want to escape from?


We want to escape our life but we are our life. We cannot escape ourselves. There is no way to escape life, we can choose to enjoy it, we can choose to experience it. We have to choose for ourselves.


Practice experiencing life instead of practicing ways to escape it.


Start living.


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