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The Subtle Art of Doing What Matters | Psychology Today

Finding your inner compass helps you to persevere in times of crisis.

By Steven C. Hayes Ph.D., Posted April 15, 2022 | Reviewed by Davia Sills

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Something odd happens when we are in crisis. Enshrouded in fear, worry, and self-doubt, we quickly lose sight of what matters and often act accordingly. We may get hooked on a never-ending chase for our immediate needs and wants, foregoing our deeper goals and intentions.

Or we may get lost in a repetitive cycle of meaningless chores, feeling like we are functioning but not really living.

–from article

We may even become paralyzed by the burdens of the day and spend our time mindlessly staring at black screens or blank walls.

Whatever the reaction to the crisis may be, the underlying objective often remains the same: Getting rid of the pain. Getting rid of the hurt and grief and everything that makes life hard and unbearable. This is true whether we try to drown our feelings in alcohol, distract ourselves with work, or even go completely numb.

And though it may not sound like it, this is normal and natural. We all escape our pain at times to help us cope. But while we avoid the hard stuff, we inadvertently also avoid what gives our life purpose and meaning. Rather than reaching for our goals, wishes, and ideals, we focus on not feeling.

And if we live like this for too long, we may even begin to doubt whether there is any sense to it at all.

Source: The Subtle Art of Doing What Matters | Psychology Today