Building Resilience through Practicing Discomfort
No one likes feeling uncomfortable. You might even feel uncomfortable or tense just seeing a title with the words “practicing discomfort”. This is totally normal and exactly why it is a good reason to practice moving through difficult emotions in low stake situations. Practicing when the stakes are low helps us ease into embracing discomfort to build resilience. It enables us to respond thoughtfully instead of react automatically.
Our brains are very efficient and very good at creating habits. When we intentionally break our routines and habits, space is created in our brains and new neural pathways can be created. When we create these new pathways and become mindful of our triggers, we can begin to interrupt our automatic reactions, often driven out of fear, and instead we can thoughtfully and intentionally respond to situations that make us uncomfortable.
Building Resilience Calendar
This calendar was created to help you build resilience by practicing feeling your way through discomfort in habits you are already doing throughout the day. You are likely taking part in the activity anyway, so adding a new element of discomfort should be easier than taking on a whole new activity. It is meant to help you ease into discomfort, practice when the stakes are low, and create improved resilience that can be realized when the stakes become greater.
When feeling discomfort you can choose to discover it, really feel it, and let it move through you. We don’t want to resist it, hold onto it and trap it within us. This doesn’t always mean that it will be easy. If it brings up more emotions than expected, embrace and feel those emotions and let them move through you. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to take some extra breaths then do just that. It is okay to feel the uncomfortable emotions. It is okay to feel them and remain present in the moment. When we stop pushing them away and start feeling them, they can teach us really important lessons and serve us in new ways.
The calendar includes simple things like switching up a common routine or brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. It also incorporates adding cold water to your showers, as Jesse Harless recommends in his recent guest post and book, Smash Your Comfort Zone with Cold Showers. The is a new flavor each day to keep it interesting, or if you like one activity you can continue it for a few days. It is a tool for you, so play with the practices so they work for you. I’d love to hear how your practices are going, which activities you loved and which created challenges. Add comments below or on Facebook or IG.