How to Sit With Discomfort | ItNo one wants to feel uncomfortable. This is the truth. It is the logical reason that so many of us seek immediate gratification, numbing, and avoidance when life gets tricky. It is a natural, instinctual survival technique to move away from anything that feels challenging or threatening.

Our nervous systems are set up for this, too. We have one system, the parasympathetic nervous system, that is in charge of healing, resting, and restoring, and another, the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for moving us away from perceived danger. Perceived is the key word here, as everything we experience in life is run through our personal perception of the situations in front of us.

So with this understanding in place, doesn’t it make sense to do everything we can do to defog the way we look at the world around us?

Unhealed emotional disturbances at any level wreak havoc on the way we view the world. Residual pain makes us react to old wounds, hold onto anger, and spew words of resentment and blame. Worse still, it takes up space in life and uses immeasurable amounts of energy to manage. Unresolved issues don’t fortify us; they tear us down, fog our life lens, and wipe out any hope of a brighter future. So why do we hold on to them? Because truthfully, healing feels uncomfortable before it feels better, and without a strong self care practice in place, we don’t have the strength to deal with the discomfort.

The thing is, this doesn’t have to be your future. I know from experience that healing can happen. It requires that you find the tools to do the hard work of your life, and learn how to sit with discomfort. Self care and meditation practices support your ability to do this. Each time you dedicate time and energy to your personal healing, whether through the practices I suggest on my website and blog or practices that you already have in life, you gain more strength to look at the tough stuff in your life.

I know that the concept of embracing discomfort to find lasting comfort is a big leap of faith for many, but as I have said to others (and myself) on this challenging path of healing, what’s the alternative? I know that I have more to offer the world than some regurgitation of my sadness and sorrow, and I know you do, too.

So, instead of running in the opposite direction when choppy times appear, take care of yourself and explore your energetic edge so you can bravely march towards that which feels uncomfortable. To my great surprise, when I do this, the discomfort is never as challenging as I had perceived it would be.

It’s occurred to me that the only path to healing is to feel whatever the moment presents, and if that means discomfort, I know that greater happiness and calm wait on the other side.