I loathe being uncomfortable. The forethought of just the possibility of discomfort gets me feeling anxious. Discomfort is so comprehensive and could mean something completely different to each of us. But the feeling is the same. Personally, not knowing what to say, lacking the answer, or not being equipped with enough knowledge in a situation makes me uncomfortable. It can make me dread work; because what if I don’t know enough to respond to a situation perfectly. Gosh, that will be uncomfortable. For some, it’s boredom. Stillness. How uncomfortable. For others, it’s social gatherings or public speaking. The realm of discomfort is vast and extremely variable.
I do believe there is a discomfort that almost all of us can relate to, though. Hunger. When you’re hungry, you’re uncomfortable. A hunger pang leads to discomfort almost automatically, which then immediately leads to trying to alleviate that discomfort: “What can I eat?!”
We tell ourselves things like, “I cannot function if I’m hungry.” “I get hangry so easily.”
What if we step back from the notion of our modern day hunger for a moment. A little objective thinking, from a wider lens. Are we really hungry to the point of malfunction? Are we not emotionally evolved enough to be able to manage our emotions along with a grumbling belly? And, the big question: Is it hunger or is it a craving?
Cravings can be very deceptive. Especially with the way our food is created now. Foods deep fried, amplifying that yummy, comforting fatty indulgence. Treats filled with added sugar to satisfy our over the top need for comforting sweetness. Snacks loaded with sodium to satiate our want for a comforting crunch of salty goodness.
Do you see what these all have in common? Comfort. We are so eager to alleviate discomfort and feel that instant nirvana of comfort that we respond to our hunger with fatty, sugary, and salty choices. This does not play well into our true intentions of achieving our dream body or looking good naked. Heck, it doesn’t even play well into looking good with our clothes on.
Being OK with discomfort is hard. It sounds like a horrible idea actually. Until, you really think about it. Is comfort keeping us from our ultimate wellness goals? May we choose to sit with the discomfort of craving or even the legitimate discomfort of hunger until a food that is in favor of our wellness is available to us. It’s 2019, that optimal food choice is not days, or even hours away.
Challenge yourself to step back from your discomfort, get curious about it, analyze it. Is it a discomfort that you can sit with for a little bit? Can you respond positively after a few moments of pause, rather than reacting impulsively to the first tinge of discomfort?
Get comfortable with discomfort.
Post Script: Discomfort and discipline go hand in hand. Often being disciplined is uncomfortable. What if discipline and discomfort were not perceived as giving up things that bring you joy, but rather the realization that they are the path to taking away everything that is keeping you from real joy?