Are You Dealing With Discomfort in a Skillful Manner?

Physical and emotional discomfort are a part of life. Most scientists believe that feelings of discomfort are attempts by our brain to keep us safe. There’s a reason you’re afraid to jump off a cliff. If you step on something sharp, you’re sure to pick up your foot and rectify the situation.

However, there are times that your brain leads you astray. You can feel fear about a certain course of action, even if that action is the best option. It’s also possible to react to legitimate causes of discomfort poorly.

Your brain works very hard to limit the amount of change in your life. That’s why change can be so hard. In a similar fashion, your brain will try to prevent you from taking any action that might cause embarrassment or other form of anxiety.

Are you going to let your brain control you, or are you going to control your brain?

Deal with discomfort skillfully:Are You Dealing With Discomfort in a Skillful Manner?

  1. Ask yourself if the discomfort is legitimate. Protecting your life and your source of income are examples of legitimate concerns. The fear felt before a public speaking engagement isn’t. What do you really have to risk?
  • Discomfort can be very limiting if you let it. Asking a beautiful woman out on a date only has an upside.
     
    1. Avoid dealing with discomfort poorly. Suppose you’re stressed about work. It would be reasonable to resolve the situation. If it can’t be resolved, there’s no point in worrying about it. But avoiding worry is easier said than done. What are some common coping mechanisms?
  • The use of alcohol and other drugs is an example of a harmful coping mechanism. You may feel better in the short-term, but you’re also risking your health and possibly imprisonment.
     
  • Over-eating is another common coping mechanism. Your health is at risk, but at least you’ll stay out of jail. This is less than optimal.
     
  • Reading, watching TV, surfing the internet, or engaging in another “harmless” activity are also common options. These are merely distractions with little benefit. You’re not hurting yourself, but you’re not helping either.
     
  • Exercising is at least a healthy choice when kept within reasonable parameters.
     
  • Meditating and problem solving can actually provide insight into the challenge. You’re taking action and exerting a level of control. This can be comforting.
  1. Be mindful. Mindfulness largely consists of being aware of your current activities and your environment. If you’re paying bills, you mind is only aware of that activity. Paying your bills and worrying about work isn’t being mindful.
  • Training your mind to stay grounded in reality is challenging, but very rewarding. You can greatly eliminate worry.
  1. Learn to be comfortable with discomfort. You can get used to anything. Some of us are easily swayed by discomfort and cave very quickly. Start small. Learn to accept smaller discomforts and allow them to pass. In time, you’ll be able to handle higher levels of discomfort.
  2. Realize that discomfort is a feeling in your body that you created. All the fear and anxiety you feel are nothing more than a few chemicals coursing through your veins. Those chemicals can be effective, but you don’t have to give in to them. Resolve to continue forging ahead.

Your ability to evaluate and manage your discomfort effectively is a prime determiner of success. Many people are successful only because of their ability to do things others are too uncomfortable to do. What would you do if you never felt uncomfortable? 

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