Sitting in Discomfort…Comfortably!
You are waiting in line in a massive crowd that resembles more of a mob than a line….
You are on a road trip packed 4 people deep in mounds of luggage…the caravan just stopped for gas…now you have to go pee…
You are in a business meeting and two colleagues decide to get in to a personal argument infront of everyone….
You introduce two friends and they already know eachother from some other past bad experience…
You are in a nice hot shower and someone flushes the toilet switching the hot shower to an ice bath…
You are trying to sit quietly eyes closed focusing only on your breath for 10minutes in a world packed with haste and anxiety…..also known as meditating….
It’s unfomfortable…the Struggle is REAL…and THAT’S OK!
We all encounter discomfort on a regular basis…whether due to our own volition…or due to circumstances out of our control…and that’s ok…as long as we know how to be OK with it. Being able to sit in the discomfort of our regular, daily, uncomfortable experiences allows us to have more control over our feelings and emotions…which in turn allows us to enjoy more discomfort and uncomfortable moments…to what end is this…sometimes I think “How about just enjoying more comfortable moments”….and the reality is that by enjoying more discomfort and uncomfortable moments you are actually turning them in to comfortable moments… not to mention that life is suffering, struggle, discomfort… ask the Buddha… and get used to it.
In the grand scheme discomfort (aka. “AWKWARD”) in humans could be equated to fight-or-flight response and sympathetic nervous system …ie. we aren’t comfortable, a fraid of something, threatened, nervous, and we want to fight our way out or run…when we are comfortable, our parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and allows us to lower our stress levels and relax…
So the moral of the story is… practice sitting in the discomfort… being OK with it… breathing… comfortably… and you will be able to force your parasympathetic nervous system to override your fight-or-flight response… the first few seconds/minutes of “sitting” in the discomfort are usually the most difficult…it gets easier with time and practice… and the benefits are amazing…. clear headed patientce in crowds… calm, focussed and collected head in business meetings… confidence in new and awkward social settings… ability to hold your pee for longer… it takes time, awareness and PRACTICE!!!
-Meditating and breathing alone and in crowds (start with a few minutes and work your way up…daily is best)
-Turn your shower cold for a few minutes at the end…and chill out (mentally)
-Take a little breath through the nose amidst a big argument or discussion (reward yourself with a smile)
-GO BE UNCOMFORTABLE….IT’S OK!!!