Escapism comes from a need to avoid unpleasant feelings. Escapism can take many forms like procrastination, addiction, distraction etc.
Evans supposes that escapism is a kind of activity occurring because of the current conditions of our media society.
He opined that escapism may be due to avoidance; running from reality and real-life difficulties; or passive (listening to music, watching TV or movies) or active (job or hobbies).
Will escapism help you cope or drown you?
Escapism is a coping strategy that implies the tendency to evade the real world looking for the desired security and tranquility in a fantasy world. It usually implies an uprooting from reality to find refuge in a fictional and parallel universe.
The desire to escape, in itself, is neither good nor bad; we all are escapist of some sort; from time to time we feel the need to disconnect from reality to ensure we refresh and restart.
In some cases, the function of escapist strategies is to allow us to better deal with a world that is too overwhelming and a world that seems impossible to manage.
Evans distinguished productive and “unhealthy” escapism, outlining the following indicators of unhealthy escapism: procrastination, psychosis, denial (leading to rejection of social norms, rigid personal stance on life and isolation) and addiction (inability to control habits).
Much like any construct, escapism is a spectrum, from low to high. Although psychologists may differ in their opinion, there are some behavioral pattern of those with low levels of escapism (productive escapism) that are beneficial to the individual;
Productive or positive escapism can give the following;
This form of escapism is focused on constructive activities with several future benefits, within balance of the other areas of your life. Positive escapism may be rewarding; when done positively, escapism can help you form new and rewarding habits such as reading; find things about yourself you wouldn’t have known; it can also help to develop your creative side through meditation
Although temporal, productive escapism could mean zoning out of your current situations or hurdles to experiences that made them happy in the past. Disappearing into another world for a bit can be incredibly rewarding. Yes, the worries, stresses and strains will still be there when you return, but sometimes escapism can help you cope a little better, because your mind has had a rest.
2. Source of creativity
Positive escapism exposes your creative side. Your creativity is sometimes hindered by stress, worries, your intense and claustrophobic circle. When you escape from all these hindrances and zones towards creativity, you find that you get in touch with your creative side through the inspirations you receive. Creativity also links back to happiness because the act of being creative, if successfully executed, is an important contributor to happiness and general well-being.
Apart from creative arts, escapisms may require that we open our favorite books, listen to music or watch our favorite show. It often is an avenue for the eureka moments. You may have noticed that your best ideas come when you are in the shower, rest room or when you are resting. Hence, a little escape may be the bridge to finding the piece to that great idea.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, things can pop up that make you feel like all that hard work is for nothing. Escaping can provide some levels of motivation when you may not be getting it elsewhere.
We all need a break from the hustle and bustle of life; getting the necessary rest may require us to escape a little; it is a great way to relieve stress and avoid burnout; personally, I discovered that my mind races even when I am resting, and I frequently continue to think about work and unfinished tasks; however, whenever I zone out I find that I rest properly.
Escapisms may reduce illness anxiety disorder; this is because escapism takes your mind off the worry of the moment; instead of worrying excessively that you may become seriously ill, you can divert your mind into something more pleasing.
Unhealthy escapism may lead to the following;
Procrastination may arise as a result of escapism; it may arise from the need to escape from actions or emotions.
2. Denial and psychosis
Escapists who live in denial often reject social norms, have rigid personal stances on life and sometimes become isolated. Sometimes you may be escaping from a particular diagnosis because you feel the diagnosis is horrible and won’t want to admit that you could suffer from the disease. This denial may lead to poor management of the disease and will eventually become worse than you could ever imagine.
Escapism may also result from the denial of the death of a loved one; often leading to psychosis which involves the distortion or loss of contact with reality, often accompanied by hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thoughts and/or behavior.
Addictions to vices sometimes give false relief. Drugs and alcohol are the most abused substances; and usually abused due to reality overdose. Drugs and alcohol abuse allow you to hide under cover from your real self, the self you do not accept.
For this and much more Information relating to employability skills, employment opportunities, career advancement, and entrepreneurship development; Join our Telegram and WhatsApp groups, and also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.