Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
Two minutes. No big deal? Two minutes in the Atlantic Ocean in January. The water temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit and the air is about the same. I take off my hat, gloves and clothes. RUN!!!! Into the ocean I go. I scream/sing from the shock, but after about 30 seconds the mental OMG goes away. A sense of peace and bliss takes over. Getting uncomfortable means change. Change requires getting out of the comfort zone. Getting out of the comfort zone will result with the reward of progress and growth to a better you.
Placing yourself in a new uncomfortable situation actually releases dopamine, the chemical that can make you feel good and motivated to continue to change for progress and personal growth.
In my example of an ocean cold plunge (more mentally uncomfortable than anything else), blood vessels are constricting, inflammation and stress are diminishing, while bringing more circulation to my core and central nervous system. Dopamine is pumping to increase my mood. Adrenaline and noradrenaline are released increasing clarity and focus so I have the attention span to write this article. Most importantly for me is, reducing neuroinflammation from an central nervous system autoimmune and multiple concussions. Worth the temporary discomfort, and mental melodrama? I say yes.
The Brain's Wiring System For Ease and Comfort
Our brain is wired for the paths of least resistance so change is not always easy, yet not impossible. It seemingly takes less energy to continue to stay in a habitual pattern that we don't have to think about, even if it is draining us because it is familiar and "safe". Our brain is programmed for survival and conservation of energy. Familiarity becomes the metric for safety, even if it isn't good for us ie, relationships, thought patterns, movement patterns.
Getting comfortable can make us lazy and not want to venture out of our sweatpants and off the couch. There is a whole world out there and within you to experience! Netflix will be there when you return. Get outside, go on that date, jump in that cold ocean!
Practicing doing things that make you uncomfortable will:
Prepare you to have those uncomfortable conversations
Take that next step in self growth
Increase your mood
Boost your confidence
Increase your energy
Allow you to evolve synergistically with the world within and around you.
Chaos is always increasing and change is the only constant. The more you resist change, the more challenging or forceful it may become. Be proactive.
Set yourself up for success by practicing being uncomfortable, so it is easier and familiar how to navigate your nervous system when unpredicted challenges arise. The more you practice, the more your brain and body will be flexible to receiving and handling situations out of your comfort making for a smoother transition.
Practice Being Uncomfortable: Breathe. Move. Recover.
Breathe: Practice breath holds. Breathe continuously (no pause between inhale and exhale) for 1 minute. On your last exhale release all your air and hold your breath as long as you can. Time yourself so you have a starting point metric to compare with over time.
Move: Your muscles will adapt under stress and become stronger which means you have to do a bit more than what is easy. Do as many push ups as you can until complete failure. - You are not that far from the ground when you fall on your face.
Recover: Look at the foods you are eating on a regular basis. Do you always go for the ice cream after dinner? Add that sugar to your coffee? A can of soda when you need some energy? Eliminate your vice and replace with something healthier like a glass of water and a walk around the block. Notice the initial discomfort and how it subsides over time.
If getting out of your comfort zone is something you have been wanting to do, well here is your sign to start now! Breathe. Move. Recover. is a great way to jump start your ability to actively make changes in your life to live healthier and happier. By emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE consultation to get started on your journey to your best self, you have already stepped out of your comfort zone! See, isn't that fun? I look forward to hearing from you. - A'ho.
Watch my youtube video HERE on Getting out of Your Comfort Zone.