Discomfort: Dealing with Internal Conflict

As human beings, we want to make life as comfortable as we possibly can. If anything, we try to strive to live each day with the feeling of peace and awareness. We want to know the things that go on around us, we want to know what’s going on in the present moment, and we want to know that the actions we take today will result in a certain action tomorrow. But what happens when things don’t go as planned. Suddenly, we panic.

One of the feelings most people want to avoid is discomfort. Nobody likes to have that uneasy or uncomfortable feeling. It feels like sharp pain in our bodies. The weird thing is, the more we try to neglect it, the stronger it gets. If you’ve ever had this feeling, you know what I mean. Here are some ways to deal with discomfort.

What is discomfort?

First of all, what is discomfort? The best way for me to describe discomfort is a feeling between anxiety and irritability. It’s a sharp stingy feeling that eats you up from inside and you can physically feel it anywhere in the body. Not only does discomfort distances you from being anywhere near peace and relaxation, but operating your day at a steady rate can really take its toll when you constantly feel this way. Depending on the type of person you are, you may feel discomfort from internal or external forces. Here are some real like situations that might cause discomfort.

  • Giving a speech to a crowd of people staring
  • Going to a party where you only know a few people
  • Starting a conversation with a stranger in the street
  • Staying in a different environment such as another house or country
  • Being forced to eat new foods that you’re not familiar with
  • Coming home to see your workplace organized in a different way
  • Something abnormal that happens near us
  • Someone following or creeping next to us
  • Doing something you’re not supposed to do
  • Not knowing the outcome of an action you took

Why we get these feelings?

The reason I think why we get feeling of discomfort is because of control. As human beings we want to be in control of everything. Part of being in control is the need to know what is going on around us and why it is going on. However, what that is taken away from us? What if all of the sudden something we cannot control or something happens to us but we do not understand why it happens? For a brief moment, we are taken out of our reality. This causes discomfort.

How to get rid of discomfort?

The key to getting rid of discomfort, I believe, is indifference. There is a saying that indifference is the key to making a difference. The reason for this is because we invest too much of our feelings into the unknown. If we can reduce the amount of feelings we put into this, we can slowly get rid of our discomfort.

Example #1

For example, let’s you were at the computer and accidently pressed submit to before you really wanted to. You wrote a mistake, perhaps this was a spelling or grammatical error that you wanted to change. Perhaps you wrote something that just made a fool out of yourself. Either way, the thoughts that are going through your mind are what an idiot you were and how other people are going to look at you differently now. To heal this, you start coming up with mind chatter that more than likely is useless.

“Why did I hit submit!?”

“I’m such a klutz!”

“Maybe nobody will read it…”

“Should I write something else beneath it?”

“Oh I wish I didn’t do that…”

“Where is the redo submit button when I need it!”

This is the wrong approach as this will only produce more discomfort. To cure this you have to be indifferent about it. But it’s no use to just tell you to be indifferent. That starts with acceptance. Accept that you have hit the submit button. Next visualize or go into a reality that you’ve done it so many times that it’s no big deal. This helps being indifferent as well. For example, see yourself having already hundreds of thousands of times. Momentarily picture it in your head. Now feel the feeling slowly vanish away. Feel better?

Example #2

Another example of discomfort might be meeting your old friends for the first time in a long time. The problem is that you know you have changed as a person but they do not know that. The day is coming closer and you feel an internal pain in your body. You start to ask yourself the following questions.

How will I act in front of them?

Should I act the way I use to or the new me?

What will they think of my new personality?

Maybe I should just act like my old self…

Is there any way I can delay this meeting?

C’mon let’s just get it over with!

Again, more of this only causes more discomfort. The reason for this is because you have stayed at home for many days without seeing your old friends and finally the perfect day arrives wherever everybody is in town and everybody has free time. Now instead of another day where you go doing yourself alone, you will have to see people.

You are thinking too much. You are putting too much importance and making it a bigger deal than it really is. You would not feel discomfort if you saw new people every day would it? The only reason you feel discomfort is because there is a sudden change in lifestyle. By visualizing in your mind over and over again that you have already met your friends and this is the hundredth time you are doing it, you will reduce the importance of it.

Remember, sometimes rational thinking only worsens our discomfort level because you’re trying to pull away from the truth. If you’ve made a mistake, the truth is you’ve made a mistake. We don’t necessarily have to bring up other alternatives because we want to feel at control. We cannot control the universe. Everything in the world happens for a reason, but we don’t have to necessarily know that reason. Sometimes human beings will need to know that reason and will not feel comfortable until they find that reason out. This causes great discomfort and eventually drives them mad.

Learn to deal with discomfort by not letting the situation become too big of a deal. Don’t sweat the small things in life. Learn to accept and visually repeat things in your mind and feel it many times to reduce the importance of it, and you’ll find yourself to be more at peace with life.