Learning to Sit with Discomfort

One of the discoveries I’ve found over the last 12 years as a Humanistic Therapist, is how individuals and in turn groups. don’t like to sit with discomfort. There are many kinds of distractions people use in many different ways to avoid it.

I in turn, on speaking about reverse culture shock in a previous post mentioned that on returning to the UK – I wanted to eat to stave off the boredom on being back in a place, I had spent the last 51 years living in. The stimulation I had been experiencing whilst working abroad had been spiking the dopamine levels in my brain and that natural ‘high’ I wanted to continue experiencing on my return.

Alas, it is not something I find here because, although there may be small changes in the community I live in – much remains the same externally. I’m not challenged to think differently, in a way that I am when I’m travelling, with new sights, smells, languages and cultural interactions.

So how do we sit with discomfort and is it important to know when to sit and when to shift?

I think so – if discomfort is short-term then sitting with it may be appropriate but if it turns into a chronic situation, then something needs to change.

Living on the little island of Koh Chang alone, there were times when I felt the discomfort of having so much time to myself – being someone who enjoys the company of others and being out and about.  Especially with being married for over 25 years and

Yet, I could turn that to my advantage on my weekends off by laying on  a golden beach somewhere on the island. Although it didn’t necessarily sort out the discomfort of what I was experiencing, it did help me to at least relax and chill out.

Discomfort arises when there is something we need to do, which we may find difficult as a person. I can recall one week, when the opportunity to talk with the person I needed to, which enabled the discomfort to dissipate, didn’t arise for four days. I was challenged in delving into my grit built emotional resilience, to ensure the internal discomfort did not burst out in another, unsuitable way which could have been damaging. 

Sitting with discomfort is always going to be difficult and if you are experiencing it and don’t know why its there. The uncovering of the feeling can be a challenge in itself. If you need some help. Why not drop me a message or give me a call and together we’ll work it out. You don’t have to be alone in the process. 



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