We're all human. We bleed red and we cry water.
We have emotions—violent, vivid, and sometimes uncontrollable. It's natural to feel, it's healthy to feel but sometimes we feel ugly and unpleasant emotions. We may not always be able to control our emotions, whether it's anger, sadness, or longing, but we can control our actions.
So instead of compulsively hitting the send button to a text that may very well lead to instant regret; let's take a step back from the phone and busy yourself with something else for a while.
This allows you to sort through you're feelings and thoughts in a designated safe place. No one has to read it so it's safe to write down your raw thoughts without concern for anyone else's judgment. This gives you an opportunity to process your intentions and possible consequences. You could journal on a physical piece of paper or digitally.
2. Take a nap
Nothing resets the mind and body like a good satisfying nap.
3. Tend to a pet
Our pets are always ready to give us unconditional love. They can soothe our woes if we allow them, so pet your furry pal, hold your reptile amigo, or watch your finny friend. Play with them, love them, and take care of them. Engaging with your animal friends will direct your attention to someone who needs you. You can even rant to them, they'll listen to what you have to say.
4. Play a video game
Engage in any world you'll like from petting "Nintendo Dogs" to shooting in "Call of Duty." Video games offer an outlet for us when we're in a rut, allowing us to escape into a world of virtually no consequence.
5. Create art
Art is an abstract expression of the soul. Instead of verbalizing over a text, use your emotions as fuel in creating a masterpiece. Be messy with paint or charcoal, or perhaps more refined with pencil or digital art. Art is various and ultimately limitless; its a judgment-free zone where you can authentically be you and express your internal world.
Cooking is both practical and fun. You diligently work in preparing the dish and at the end of your hard work you have something yummy to eat. The effort you put into the meal is rewarding as you devour it. Plus nothing beats eating to distract you from your feelings.
Exercise can mean taking a walk around the neighborhood, yoga, the gym, or playing on a playground. Something physical can help burn off excess energy you may harbor and may help level you out. Exercise gives your body and mind some love and may help clear your head.
8. Listen to music
Music offers us solace when we need it. It gives us comfort by helping us verbalize our emotions and express them in an art form. There's a song for every mood and mindset, so there's always something to listen to.
9. Read a book
Escape into another world through the pages of a book. Sometimes engaging in someone else's problems in their own plotline is what we need to become distracted from our own.
10. Write an article
Take your stance or problem, and use it as fuel to create something worthwhile. Make something productive out of it, such as writing an article on Odyssey.
When I started writing this article I was fuming mad but as I wrote I gradually calmed down (See #1). I was about to text something nasty out of anger but I stopped myself. I didn't want to hurt someone I sincerely cared about. Sometimes we need a little time away from our phones to process our intentions and the consequences. In the age of instant gratification taking a step back may prove difficult but sometimes it's what we need. Hopefully, you can get to a place where you can text something you won't regret as I have.