Discomfort Is a Call to Action

If you live in a Northern climate, I’m sure you remember playing outside in the snow as a child. You played for hours, making snow forts and throwing snow balls. After a while, you realized your gloves and pants were getting wet and you suddenly felt very cold. If you were really young, you probably stood inside the door and sobbed while your mother peeled the wet clothes off of your chaffed, red skin. You were just miserable.

It’s no fun being uncomfortable, but just like other sensations, like pain or fear, these feelings have a purpose. When you were outside playing in the snow, that feeling of discomfort when you started getting wet and cold was a call to action. Your body and mind were working together to tell you that you needed to do something in order to relieve your discomfort.

There are many other areas in life where this same idea applies. Our subconscious minds are very good at determining when something is very wrong or maybe just not quite right. If you’re feeling overheated, get some water or get in the shade. If you’re feeling too cold, get inside and warm up. If you’re feeling some other sort of discomfort, though, the action necessary to fix the situation may not be as obvious.

What if you’re starting to feel uncomfortable at work? You started off liking your job quite a bit, with some days not being so great, but most were pretty good. Now, things just don’t seem so good anymore. Your subconscious mind is telling you that something isn’t right and some action needs to be taken.

This doesn’t mean that you should immediately search for another job or quit outright. It means that it’s time for you to examine where you are and where you’re going. There may be subtle changes you can make in your outlook or in your work habits that can help things immensely. Simply realizing that things aren’t the way you’d like them to be is a powerful thing. Once you’re past that vague uneasiness and beginning in earnest to search for the cause of this feeling, you can begin to make progress.

Maybe you have a neighbor who has allowed her shrubbery to infiltrate your fence line. This has been bugging you for some time, but you’ve never felt like it was important enough to mention. If it’s bugging you, though, it’s possible that taking some sort of action can remove this annoyance from your mind. It could be that you should have a conversation with your neighbor and suggest helping her trim back the hedges to keep them in line.

Another way to take action is to change your own way of seeing things and actively choose not to be concerned about the problem. Actions can be mental as well as physical. If by taking a good look at your own feelings on the problem you can adjust your thinking so that it really isn’t a problem any longer, then you’ve just taken another small (or large) annoyance out of your subconscious and freed up those resources for something more beneficial to you.

See, all the annoyances and discomforts in our lives can add up to a pretty heavy burden on both our subconscious and conscious minds. We keep all these little balls up in the air when we think about them or have them in the back of our minds. It’s just like having a computer with too many programs running at once. Sometimes you need to close some of the programs and allow the main one or two to have that room to run. Your mind works the same way.

These negative feelings, however minor, often drain our resources without us even knowing about it. If you’re feeling exhausted and discontented at the end of each day, or worse, at the beginning of each day, something needs to change. Dealing with our discomforts in a positive, proactive way can help clear our minds and improve our ability to focus on what’s most important in our lives.

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2 Responses to Discomfort Is a Call to Action

  1. Pingback: Emotional Feedback at FreshBlogger

  2. Great opening description of discomfort – “If you were really young, you probably stood inside the door and sobbed while your mother peeled the wet clothes off of your chaffed, red skin. You were just miserable.”

    Having grown up in Wisconsin and now living in Minnesota with kids, this image is very real. In fact, they are outside today playing in the snow until the discomfort overwhelms them.

    Good post!

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