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According to Dictionary.com, the definition for discomfort means:
uneasiness, hardship, or mild pain. Anything that is disturbing to or interferes with comfort
My personal definition of discomfort is our body, mind or spirit sounding off an alarm. Discomfort is literally the home alarm system going off to let us know that an intruder emotion is there and will need to be taken care of.
I think we often ignore emotional and spiritual alarms and trudge through life unknowingly realizing that we have the power of awareness, and if we can course correct, we can take ownership of our lives.
I was in a book club and I realized that every time I got ready to leave, I felt uneasy. I would normally shrug this uneasiness off as my general social anxiety, but one day I gave myself time to sit in that discomfort. Upon further examination of my discomfort alarm sounding off and investigating that intruder emotion, I realized I was only doing it to please a friend and I hated the books that were chosen and I personally didn’t vibe with the group overall. I also realized that there were other things I could do with this friend and we could spend time together in other ways. Since I love to read, I found another book club and I feel very at home in this new group. This was just a small example, but honoring your discomfort and honing into your true awareness is key.
Sometimes, we feel a discomfort that is out of our immediate control and we don’t have the option to find a quick solution. In these cases, having a plan to remedy this can help us manage the discomfort until we are equipped to eliminate the pain. Personally, my finances are uncomfortable, ha ha! However, I have implemented a plan that lessens my anxiety and makes me feel better about my situation until I can be financially secure and eliminate that discomfort.
Then there is the discomfort that will never go away and we must live with. A song came on the other day and it reminded me of my cousin that passed away from breast cancer years ago. I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach as memories mixed with sadness and pain gathered there. However, I took that moment as a sign that her spirit was alive in that moment from the memories that were just produced in my mind and I smiled. I smiled because I love her, I smiled because of my ignorance of where she is and what she’s doing and I smiled because I transmuted my discomfort into a beautiful awareness of memory. With these discomforts we have to seek to find the peace in those moments.
Intentional discomfort is my favorite, but it’s also my worst enemy. Intentional discomfort is a pain that you inflict on yourself, and if you’re anything like me, causes you to give up. Exercise and I have not started out on the right foot. Every time I get to a point of discomfort, I hop off the treadmill and onto the sofa. I have since recognized when I hit the points of discomfort and have decided to push through so that I can reap the rewards of finally having a flat stomach one day.
So we recognized our discomfort, what should we do next?
Sit in it for a while and try to figure out the root of the discomfort. Write down what event triggered the feelings and see if you can get to the bottom of the uncomfortable feelings. If going at it alone isn’t working, talk to someone you trust to give your honest feedback. Sometimes talking it over with someone else broadens our perspective and we can gain clarity. If you feel you don’t have someone you can trust, speak to a therapist to help you sort through these emotions.
Turn the tv off, put your phone down and give your mind and body time to think without distraction. Ask yourself these questions:
What triggered my strong emotions?
Are these emotions uncomfortable?
Imagine how it would feel to be on the other side of that discomfort.
How can I overcome these negative emotions
If it’s a situation that you have to deal with and cannot be solved, what strategies can be put in place to transmute the emotion or ease your level of discomfort.
Is this a situation I can deal with on my own or will I need professional assistance.
Write down all of the above to refer back to.
How do you deal with discomfort? Please share below!