When a Little Discomfort Is Good for You

Updated on January 7, 2020
R Swafford profile image

This could change your life and flip your world upside-down.

A New Perspective

Would you walk through the cold for a few minutes instead of opting to stay inside if you knew it would benefit your well being? It may seem like a small and insignificant change, but research actually says that being in nature can give our mood a boost, and benefit our mental well-being. Beyond nature, there are so many other things you can try that may be uncomfortable at first but will greatly benefit you in the long run.

Would you try something new that you're not interested in if you knew it would help you grow, and benefit you down the road? Have you ever told yourself "I can't"? Changing that one little phrase to "I can't yet" could make the biggest difference in the rest of your life, no matter how old you are. I mean, think about this: How many opportunities passed you by because you said "I can't do that"? Probably a lot, but you'll never know until you start saying "I can"!

A Little Discomfort

Here's the thing: People who are successful understand the value of delayed gratification. Doing things you don't want to do in the moment can help you down the road. For example, if you weren't interested in history, what if you read a book about someone who was interested in the same things as you are, but was born hundreds of years ago? Your small choices can make an incredible impact on your life and that starts with reaching outside of your comfort zones. Assess your likes and dislikes. Why is it that you dislike certain things? Looking for exceptions to the rule will help you explore more of yourself and the world.

Looking at yourself as a whole is helpful. Recognize that the you of the future will still be the you that you are now, just with more experiences and different surroundings. Thinking about your future self can help you make choices that positively influence your current well-being. What can you do right now that you will thank yourself for in a day, a week, a month, or a year?

Start Small!

Here are some simple, effective ways to spark new thoughts and refresh your mind:

  • Take a different route home from work, and actively observe the new surroundings. What and who do you see? What does it remind you of? How do you feel?
  • Remember that thing you have always said you want to do? Maybe it's skydiving, or visiting a museum, or learning an instrument, or trying a certain food. Well, make plans, add it to the calendar, and try it!
  • Brush your teeth with your other hand. Yep, you heard me. Even something this small can activate parts of your brain in new ways!
  • Talk to a co-worker/neighbor/acquaintance that you don't usually talk to. Be curious about their life, with the main goal of listening and contemplating their words. What do you think you can learn from them? What do you have in common?
  • Take a mildly cold shower. Notice how it wakes you up. Does it make you more grateful for hot water?
  • Ask your friend/partner/spouse/relative an open-ended question that you wouldn't normally ask. For example, "What's a hobby you've always wanted to try but never got around to?"
  • Use your money differently as an experiment (even if it's just for a day). Do you normally buy anything you like? Try not buying things. Do you normally buy only what you need? Try buying something small for yourself; it could be something as simple as a new soap. Do you normally use a credit card? Try paying with cash for a day. How does it feel?
  • Trying doing a regular task at a different speed. Do you normally rush through your morning commute? Wake up 10 minutes early and use that time to slow down both your car and your mind.
  • Close your eyes while eating, and pay attention to the flavor, texture, and and consistency of the food. This will force your brain to focus more energy on your sense of taste. What did you notice that you wouldn't have if your eyes were open?
  • If you normally wear dark colors, wear a bright color. If you always match your socks, try wearing them unmatched for a day.
  • What other ideas can you think of that are specific to your own life? Spend a few minutes brainstorming and writing them down.

The Results

Over time, doing things differently will train your brain to be more open to new experiences (and the discomfort that comes with them). Changing your perspective and your life doesn't have to be a giant commitment or a major priority shift; I hope this article inspires and encourages you to see that. Did you try any of these ideas? If so, how did they go? Do you have any ideas that you'd like to share? Please comment below!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Rebecca Swafford

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well this is something. My young son has got me wearing different colored socks. I definitely drive different on drives. Hikes in the Grand Canyon are the hardest.

      Maybe messing up and then fixing it is the hardest.

      Great article.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, remedygrove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)