instead of going to the gym or putting off a difficult task like studying for a test by playing video games. We’ve all done it. There is
no shame (that’s not helpful), but if we understand our inherent tendency to choose the “right now”pleasure, we will be more likely to delay that gratification for higher order goals and priorities.
In many ways, discomfort anxiety describes the process of addiction where we use a variety of means to avoid pain of some kind (may be in our awareness and may not) and generally, these means tend to work – for awhile. At some point, the means can develop into habits that tend to take on a life of their own and create numerous problems and increased pain for us in the long
Could it be that our current society/ culture is conditioning us for an increase in discomfort anxiety? Fast food, technological advances, high-speed travel, instant communication, and even urgent care centers continue to make life easier and easier for us to get what we want; thus, the less tolerant we have become when we do not get what we want. You know: flat tire on the way to work, an interruption to your busy schedule, the cable goes out, your cell phone goes dead….
We are going to experience discomfort from losses in our lives, outside sources beyond anyone’s control – like natural or man-made disasters or from our own frustrations in striving to accomplish meaningful goals/ tasks. We would do well to purposefully work toward developing High Frustration Tolerance - perseverance. We do that by challenging the belief that “I must not experience discomfort.” and realizing that we have a great capacity for surviving and overcoming. If we are willing to tolerate the discomfort necessarily associated with the pursuit of those higher order goals and priorities, we will be glad we did as we reap the
My plan for the New Year is to follow my own advice and be careful not to take the easy way out when the more difficult path could lead to greater long term satisfaction with less pain! You want to join me?