The Benefits of Discomfort

Pay Attention to the Weird Vibes!

Most of us are taught that ignoring or powering through discomforts is kind of heroic. Go to work when you have the flu. Go to more parties to combat shyness. Conquer your fear of heights by parachuting.

But what if feelings of discomfort, whether they’re physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, are warning signs—signals that something’s out of whack? What if, instead of attempting to banish or stoically enduring your discomfort, you’re really supposed to listen to it?

Discomfort is actually an invitation to go within, to honor that part of you that’s issuing a warning, to go deep and find out why you’re uncomfortable, and then to experiment with adjustments until the discomfort is gone. Usually, you start by having more respect for yourself, your instincts and your intuitions.

Whether you’re uncomfortable listening to gossip at work, or squeamish because they’re passing around really scary drugs at a party, or anxious because something seems off in your relationship, you can apply the same basic three steps to let your discomfort lead you to the problem’s source, and its solution.

Ask Why

Let’s say for example that you have trouble with shyness. People who love you have probably been trying to help you “fix” that most of your life, right?

Rather than starting with the position that you shouldn’t be shy, try asking yourself “Why do I usually experience discomfort meeting new people?” Sometimes you have to keep asking the question to get past superficial answers to the root cause. Usually when you’ve dug deep enough you can feel a shift, like a light going on inside you, or a sense of suddenly being relaxed about something that’s been making you really tense.

Maybe you realize that you’re shy because peace and quiet are more comfortable for you than noise and celebration. And then perhaps you realize you’re an introvert, which is a state of being rather than a condition, and something which you can understand and come to celebrate. After all, the majority of writers, artists and psychics are introverts.

What’s Good About It?

The truth is, when you have a response or feeling that’s out of the norm, it’s almost always because some part of you—physical, mental, emotional or spiritual—is trying to help.

If you start there, with the idea that there might be a good reason for how you’re feeling—that an illness might be your body’s attempt to cope with something you’re ignoring or unaware of, or that you’re uncomfortable with gossip, not because it’s “wrong,” but because you find unkindness offensive—then you’ll likely find your way back to balance and well-being more quickly and easily. One popular Law of Attraction teacher, Abraham (Esther & Jerry Hicks), says that discomfort, or any other negative emotion, is a signal that you’re out of alignment with your Higher Self. Abraham suggests that the best way to get back into alignment is to start looking for ways to feel better about where you are, to stop resisting and let your increasingly positive feelings show you the way out. In the case of shyness, perhaps there’s some important gift you have to give that can’t make itself known until you send more time alone.

Get Comfortable

While you don’t want to go overboard, learning through your discomforts is an ongoing process requiring awareness. Like any guidance system, discomfort works best when you make continual, small adjustments rather than waiting till you’re in Timbuktu when you were just trying to get across town.

Once you realize that discomfort is an opportunity to make your life better, you can be relaxed and alert rather than feeling as though you need to take your emotional and physical pulse every few minutes.

You find the solution the same way, by using your feelings as a compass. Using shyness as an example again, suppose you decide that it’s okay to just skip plans you’ve made with friends when you would rather be alone. You discover that staying home was great, but upsetting your friends by not showing up wasn’t. So next time you just tell them up front that you love them dearly but would rather stay home. You’re uncomfortable with their unhappiness, but decide to continue to tell them you’re going to stay home when it feels right, till everyone gets comfortable with the new you.

Honor your instincts and intuition, keep following your feelings, and you’ll work real magic!

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3 thoughts on “The Benefits of Discomfort

  1. misskrystalmisskrystal

    I love your articles, too, keep them coming-PLEASE. Always a perfect message, every time!
    You always rock, Verbena. You make me think so much. Love it. You are a like mirror for me. THANKS!
    Miss Krystal

    Reply
  2. ivyx5198

    Hi Verbena:) Thank you so much!! I always love your articles but this one I’m framing and puttig it on my desk. I need to remember to always trust myself. Thank you again for your wisdom and time!
    Namaste Ivy oxox

    Reply

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