Two of the men participating in the reality show “The Amazing Race” said that one of their keys to success is that they were comfortable being uncomfortable. BINGO. They nailed one of the most essential survival skills that any of us could master to help support us in winning our own personal amazing race.
Learning how to be comfortable while being uncomfortable is something that most of us have to learn how to do. Most of us can’t even tolerate being uncomfortable for short amounts of time. We distract ourselves from our discomfort by using emotional high drama, eating, drinking, drugs and all kinds of addictions, or abusive behavior.
Some people simply withdraw. I deal with my discomfort usually by writing about it. When I write about something, the discomfort often leaves me completely, like a passing storm.
I don’t think that staying with discomfort comes naturally. And finding ways to be with your discomfort is an essential skill for staying in the race. Any personal growth usually involves some kind of ability to stay with feelings of discomfort.
Let’s face it. If you are a seeker of any kind you will push boundaries. When we reach for personal transformation and start pushing edges and boundaries in our lives – we meet “the big work” and feelings of discomfort and wanting to flee from change surface.
Will Fredericks, a Sex and Intimacy Coach based in Seattle, nailed it in a comment left on a blog in my Shameless Community: “Stepping into your own life, on your terms is activism. It defies the status quo, and makes you in some ways an outlaw.” When we step out, create change, move things around and set new rules for how we want to live, we do indeed become activists for our own lives. It’s extraordinary work, and it does not come without feelings of discomfort.
And it’s important to remember that every big experience forward is an “expansion” in our lives. Expansions usually comes with an equally big “contraction.” Pleasure and pain are wedded together, they help us experience each aspect of our lives fully. So it makes sense that if you are in a journey of self discovery, you will be riding a lot of emotional waves. Try to make friends with their feelings. Know that you are the earth, and all of the emotions and uncomfortable feelings are simply passing weather. Take some shelter, but don’t run away. Be in it and see what happens.
Helpful Tips For Getting Comfortable During Feelings of Being Uncomfortable:
1. Walk, or run outside. Movement in the fresh air can really help ease feelings of anxiety, stress and unease.
2. Write about it. I asked one of my friends if my writings sometimes worried her when I write in emotional states. She laughed. She said, “Pammy, I know that by the time I get to read your writing you have completely moved on and passed through those feelings.” She is dead on right. When I write, blog, or journal, it is a tool for me to move through my own uncomfortable feelings. Try it.
3. Help a friend. Get out of your own story and help someone with theirs! There is nothing like leaving your own uncomfortable feelings alone for a while to support someone else in theirs.
4. Get on the table, and get a massage. Self pleasure. Give a massage. Make love. Moving physical energy is wonderful for helping pass the weather through your body. Get out of your head and into your body.
5. Give yourself some mantras: “Everything is going to be okay. If it’s not okay it’s not over” is a favorite of mine. Also reminding myself that I am indeed the solid earth and the weather will pass.
6. Water in. Water on. Water out. Water is a great mover of energy. Drink lots of it, pee, and take long showers or baths.
7. Be in stillness. Meditate and connect to your breath.
8. Connect to your own spirituality and / or religion. If you have a spiritual practice, practice it! Connecting to a higher power can be a beautiful way to find comfort in uncomfortable times.
If you are going to win your own amazing race, it’s all about not letting being uncomfortable make you throw in the towel, not start the race, or give up in the middle.
And it is good to know, that whatever you are feeling discomfort about, there is someone else out there in the world, feeling exactly the same thing. We are never really alone in our discomfort. Sometimes just knowing that can make us feel more comfortable!
Do you have any tips for being comfortable while being uncomfortable? Tell us about them! Leave a comment for this blog, or start your own post on the subject. We would all love to hear your thoughts and wisdom.