Pssst! Look over here . . . . .


The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Oh, sorry, did I distract you?  Were you doing something important?  Listening to music?  Watching an absorbing TV show?  Talking to a friend?  Meditating?

Please, excuse me and go right on with what you were doing. Unless  . . . . .

Perhaps you were anxious about being at loose ends. Feeling depressed. Experiencing physical pain.

If “Yes” is the answer to any of the last three, then please welcome the distraction!

“Why should I welcome it?” you ask. Because distraction from anxiety, depression, and physical pain is a very good thing. Science1 and experience tell us so.

Consciously or unconsciously, we are always making choices on how we focus attention. Is it on work at hand or a pleasant diversion?  Is it on the pain or immediate concern that is blocking everything else out?  Is it on what we feel we should do rather than what we want to do?

Finding a cause that provides a space to develop our own interests, contacts, and awareness of our own potential for “world-fixing” leaves less time for focusing on negative aspects of life. Becoming one of the “fixers” can yield results that range from alleviation of anxiety, depression, and awareness of physical pain to making them actually go away.

When aging brings inevitable changes that challenge us physically and emotionally, engaging in efforts to bring positive change is always a “win-win.”


1Jane McGonigal,  SuperBetter:  A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient (New York, NY:  Penguin Books, 2015).

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Lessons from 30 Years of Chronic Pain

by Jamie Sewell
Thrive Global on Campus//

The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success

by Luke Markinson

Bearing Our Souls: A Crash Course in Soothing the Overwhelming Emotions of a Pandemic - Part 6 - Expressing Your Emotions

by Candyce Ossefort-Russell
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.