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10 Signs You’re an Escapist (Both Good and Bad)

10 Signs You’re an Escapist (Both Good and Bad)

If you have a tendency to avoid reality by fantasizing about your dream scenario, then chances are you are an escapist. But it is not all bad being an escapist; like everything else in life, it does have its good and bad traits.

But believe it or not, there’s an escapist in all of us. But some of us tend to take escapism to the next level and this can be quite bad. In this article, I will identify 5 good and 5 bad signs of being an escapist. So if you want to know whether you are an escapist, check these 10 signs below.

The Good Signs

1. You daydream (a lot).

If you have a tendency to daydream (a lot), then you could be an escapist. Escapists are people who want to create their own reality whilst they go about their daily routine. And these day dreams don’t tend to happen purposefully; they actually happen quite naturally when you don’t expect it. And when they do occur, you welcome them. A lot these dream tend to revolve around your deepest desires, like being a rock star, celebrity or being able to stand up for yourself.

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2. You are very creative.

If you are capable of making your own alternate reality in your mind, then you must be one imaginative and creative person. And because you developed this habit of imagining, you regularly exercise your creative muscles so you come up with new ideas all the time. If you think about it, some of the most creative works of literature or art (like Stars Wars, Batman—you name it) are all set in a dystopian universe.

3. You want to live life on your own terms.

If you are an escapist, chances are you are working in a job that you don’t really like. And you probably have this burning desire to quit your job. But being an escapist is not just about wishing to quit your job; there could be many things in your life that you wish weren’t there. They could be finance or family-related, and things which you don’t have control over. Escapists like yourself are longing to free from their shackles and live life on their own terms.

4. You love to travel the world.

You’re quick to be bitten by the travel bug. And by travelling, it is not your usual going to a beach and partying type of vacation (although you won’t mind doing that now and then). Your idea of travelling is to explore and to embrace the vibrant cultures that the world would has to offer. And since you are an escapist, you’ll be easily drawn to pictures being posted on Facebook where your friends are showing off their latest travelling adventures and you can’t help but to feel slightly envious.

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5. You enjoy reading fiction like fantasy and sci-fi.

As mentioned in one of the previous signs, escapist are incredibly creative and they’re responsible for creating the greatest works of fiction, especially in the fantasy and sci-fi genre. And as a fellow escapist, you admire their work because it allows you be a part of their imaginary universe. It gives you a chance to escape.

The Bad Signs

6. Your desire to quit your job may lead you to under-perform in your job.

This is a classic sign for anyone who is an escapist. Chances are, if you are an escapist, then you may hate your job. There’s a part of you who wants to go on to achieve greater things, perhaps a better career, or you want to do something that you love. So you continue to daydream and lose focus of what you should be doing. And because of this, you are at risk of under-performing in your job.

7. You may be addicted to video games.

Video games have evolved so much recently that you actually feel as if you are a part of their pixelated world. Like many escapists, you are probably addicted to playing video games, and that is because these games allow you to escape into an imaginary reality. Games like the SIMs are becoming more popular because it allows you to create your own alternative version of yourself where you are living your dream world. And because you are so submersed in your universe that you have created, you don’t want to let it go.

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8. You realise the world is a harsh place.

This is very common characteristic of all escapists, and it should be seen as a sign. As an escapist, you will have probably imagined this amazing future where you will be living the life of your dream. But when you go and pursue this dream, the shock of what the world is really like disappoints you. You will quickly realise this so go back to just imagining your dream world, where you feel happy.

9. You tend to procrastinate.

Although you may have all these aspirations to live your dream life, the truth is something is holding you back and it is preventing you from pursuing passion. The one thing that is holding you back is your fear of failure. In fact, you’re petrified of failure. You keeping asking all these “what ifs” and they all revolve around failure (e.g. “what if people all mock me because I want to be a writer?!”). And because of this, you end up staying where you are and you start procrastinating.

10. You can’t face uncertainty.

Similar to the last point, another sign which coincides with procrastination is your inability to face uncertainty. Your alternate dream world is where you go to escape the actual reality that you find difficult to accept. When you face uncertain situations, you tend to start procrastinating and start to fantasize. And that’s because you find certainty and security in your dream.

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Conclusion

There good and bad signs when it comes to being an escapist. The good signs tend to lead to creativity and exploration, but the bad signs lead to procrastination and not being able to accept reality. If you do have difficulty in accepting reality and pursuing your passion, you could benefit from seeking professional help. But hopefully, this article has made you familiar with signs that are usually associated with being an escapist.

Featured photo credit: Petra via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

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Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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