When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.Viktor Frankl
What does it mean to avoid a feeling?
It means to directing your attention away from something that feels unpleasant to something that feels more pleasurable.
This goes back to the idea of wanting to feel good all of the time.
Just because something feels good, doesn’t mean that it is good for us.
And just because something feels negative or unpleasant, doesn’t mean it is bad.
When we are always seeking pleasure, we are missing out on the things we could truly desire.
Eating ice cream and chocolate feel very pleasurable, but they are not good for us long term.
We usually feel the discomfort soon after eating the thing.
Avoiding a negative feeling is only a temporary fix.
You will still feel a negative feeling, you really just get to decide what version of suffering you prefer.
Do you want to be uncomfortable in a body that is out of control, seeking pleasure from food?
Or do you want to experience the discomfort of an unanswered urge? Or boredom?
One of the main sources for avoiding how we are feeling is food.
Some might say they eat their feelings.
This is not possible.
You can only dull your feeling by eating food.
Just as an empty glass will vibrate stronger than a full glass.
Eating simply dulls the emotions you are feeling.
Not just the negative ones. The positive ones too.
By avoiding or distracting yourself from feeling your emotions, you are missing out on the full human experience.
All emotions are necessary.
Once you are willing to feel any of them, you get to take your pick.
You will still feel the discomfort, possibly even stronger.
But the positive emotions will also be stronger.
Your capacity to feel will grow.
Don’t be fooled by the temptation of instant gratification.
It is costing you more than you know.