Some days I feel incredible. I am content, feeling good, ready to tackle the world and anything and everything that comes my way.
But there are days that I don’t feel so incredible. I am discontent, feeling off, uncertain how I will face the world and anything and everything that comes my way.
I know that I am not alone in this. Everybody I know has both good days and bad days. The question that comes up, though, is one of choice.
When there is discomfort, whatever form it may take, how do you handle it? That’s a question that only you have the answer to.
There three primary ways to handle discomfort in whatever form it takes.
1. Let it derail you. Don’t do your work — whatever it may be. Complain, seek out distractions, do things other than the work you should be doing.
2. Let it impact you. You do your work but not without complaint and distractions. You put some effort into it, but not your all because you do not feel you have your all.
3. Push past the discomfort. You do your work and set aside the discomfort you are feeling. This takes effort and concentration but tends to have the greatest payoff.
It doesn’t matter if your work is an art, a desk-job, a high-profile career, or what-have-you. You are going to have days with different forms of discomfort. But you get to choose what you will do about it.
The different forms of discomfort
Each form of discomfort you experience will have a different impact on you. All of them, however, can and will force you to choose one of the above three options (or frankly a combination of them).
This is the most common and has the most obvious impact. A headache will totally take away your concentration. Any other pain in your body may impact your ability to perform your job function.
To be fair there are going to be levels of physical discomfort that you cannot push past. You may need to take medication, take a break, or generally do something to alleviate the discomfort you are feeling.
For the past week, I have had a problem with my left shoulder. I think I have a knot back there about the size of my head. At least, that’s how it feels. After a time I have to roll the shoulder, walk around, and make adjustments because it is bothering me while I work.
I am not letting it go for much longer. I have massage therapy scheduled to work out the knot next week. But until then I am choosing to push past the discomfort and do my work.
This one can be extremely subjective. Various things will impact this to different degrees.
Emotional discomfort may occur following a fight or other disagreement with a friend or loved one. It might be the result of receiving bad news. You could still be reeling from a particularly vivid dream the night before that caused an emotional impact.
In many ways, though, this is easy to deal with. The key to this is mindfulness.
Specifically, you employ mindfulness to become more aware of what and how you are feeling. Odds are, emotional discomfort is based in your subconscious as a result of stimuli (either internal or external). When you use mindfulness to become aware of your feelings you can see clearly what they are.
Once you know your feelings you are empowered to influence and change them.
Once again, there may be levels of emotional discomfort that you cannot just push past. When a loved one dies or you experience a bad break-up or lose a job and the like you may need time to recover. That’s not an abnormal thing.
This is similar to emotional discomfort in several ways. But rather than it being an emotion, it’s a thought that has lodged itself into your psyche that you are having difficulty dislodging.
For example, I am going away this weekend. I have packed everything I need…but I cannot help but think about what I may be forgetting. That is leading to thoughts about the impact forgetting certain things can and will have on other people this weekend. This then leads to thinking about the driving I will be doing, and the expected cold-weather at a largely outdoor event.
If I let it this could totally derail me. I am, however, pushing past it — and you are reading the result of that.
Just like emotional discomfort, mental discomfort is combatted through mindfulness.
Specifically, you employ mindfulness to become more aware of what you are thinking. Odds are, emotional discomfort is based in your subconscious ruminations about something you have done or have to do. When you use mindfulness to become aware of your thoughts you can see clearly what they are.
Once you know your thoughts you are empowered to influence and change them.
When it comes to mental discomfort, even the highest levels can be pushed past. Meditation, deep breathing, even exercise can give you tools you can use to work through it and push past the discomfort.
This one is unique in that it is rare. But often spiritual discomfort is a by-product of the other forms of discomfort or a combination of two or more of them.
What this entails is a feeling of displacement. You may find yourself questioning your greater purpose. It is possible that spiritual discomfort might involve questioning the existence of a God or Gods and the Powers that Be.
This can be caused by disillusionment, physical pain, disappointment, depression, and thoughts about things far out of your control.
Unfortunately, spiritual discomfort is a broad topic that tends to require a long hard look at yourself and possibly a readjustment of your thinking. Fortunately, the key to this is…I’ll bet this will shock you…Mindfulness.
Employing mindfulness makes you aware of your thoughts, feelings, and the intentions of your actions. This opens you up to influencing, controlling, and changing yourself in any way you can imagine.
When it comes to spiritual discomfort, even the highest levels can be pushed past — but it tends to require time and an effort to make changes. Meditation, deep breathing, journaling, and exercise can give you tools you can use to work through the discomfort and push past it.
You are in control
No matter what form of discomfort you may be experiencing, you have the power to work through it. But you have to make a choice and decide that this is what you desire to do.
Know that you can do it. You are worthy and deserving of working through and overcoming any and all discomfort you experience. There is no prerequisite thing you need to do in order to make this so. Practicing mindfulness and being more aware of yourself will expand your horizons in some pretty amazing ways.
Whether physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, it all comes down to your choice for how to deal with it. I know you can push through and continue to be amazing.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, and you can work through any form of discomfort.