Get Comfy with Discomfort
Many of us try to make lifestyle changes this time of year, and we quickly get caught up in a back and forth that sounds something like:
** “I SHOULD go for a walk because I enjoy the movement, BUT THEN I sit on the couch and watch tv instead”.
** “I WANT to feel energetic and eat healthier foods, BUT INSTEAD I eat chips and cookies until I feel sick”
** “I WANT to feel connected and I SHOULD go meet a friend for coffee, BUT I END UP staying on my couch alone watching Netflix”
I know... me too.
So often, we are desperate for change, but we don’t actually want to do anything differently.
The simple reason is that we don’t want to feel the discomfort that comes with doing things differently.
For so long, we’ve practiced giving in to ourselves; deferring to the thoughts and feelings that demand immediate pleasure (ie your couch) over long-term pleasure (ie satisfaction of feeling great in your body).
If this approach worked, we would all be in bodies we love, have easy uncomplicated relationships with food, and feel deeply connected to ourselves and those around us.
If that sounds like a million miles away from where you are, take heart. You are a human being with a human brain. And you are not alone.
Let’s try something NEW this time around.
Let go of instant gratification.
Practice getting comfy with discomfort.
Tell your brain it’s ok. Nothing has gone wrong.
Your brain is acting exactly as you’ve taught it.
The good news?
You can teach it another way.
Your work is to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Remind yourself that it’s OK to be uncomfortable
This one is KEY.
We think something has gone wrong if we experience un-ease. But our lives are not meant to be made up only of enjoyable moments and sensations.
When we expect that discomfort is just part of life, we can open up more fully to the experience. When that resistance and struggle is gone, we are able to move through challenges more effectively, and importantly, learn and grow through them.
Try practices that get you in touch with your internal environment
Try embodying practices like yoga, meditation, breath work, journaling etc..) so you can understand what a variety of sensations and emotions feel like in your body.
Emotions are experienced as vibrations. With time, we recognize that we can handle difficult emotions because they are simply vibrations in our body. It loses a little of the importance and the heaviness we’ve put on ourselves all these years.
*PRO TIP!! If you don’t currently have a practice like this in your life, try a few out and see which resonate. Try it today. Stay open to the discomfort of not knowing what to expect.
Write your thoughts down so you can observe them
Ooooh! This is a favorite. Writing your thoughts out serves the dual purpose of helping you through a challenging moment by giving you something productive to do, as well as the added benefit of reviewing after the fact from a calmer place and working to better understand your thoughts and what results they are creating in your life.
Keep practicing - let observation and curiosity become your new habit, your new autopilot
It's a practice, not a one and done. Stay close. Continually coming back to this internal observation is some of the most important work you can do for yourself. Do it consistently and your life will never be the same.
What's one thing you can do this week to better manage discomfort when it inevitably arises?
Read more here and then get ready to welcome in the discomfort ;)
Have a beautiful week friends