I often times catch myself trying to find the most comfortable plan of attack. Our bodies have the potential to react to presumed stress with increased heart and breathing rate, muscle tension and even the release of the stress hormones: epinephrine and cortisol. But luckily, feeling uncomfortable signifies new territory and growth.
The treadmill (or shall I say, dreadmill) is one of my worst enemies but I truly think that it pushes my body beyond what I believe to be possible. One day, when I was really struggling to get through my workout, Lil Jon’s “Get Outta Your Mind” came on. All of a sudden it hit me. I turned the volume up louder than my thoughts because I realized that my run was only painful because my mind was telling me so. My mind tells me to stop long before my legs are going to give out or my lungs are hurting. I know that my body can physically do so much more than my mind tells me sometimes. It seems to put up invisible gates to prevent our bodies from being uncomfortable. So, I’ve challenged myself to push my thoughts out of the way. To get out of my mind. To encourage myself past my assumed limits and step out of my comfort zone. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will become being uncomfortable.
Each and every day, I am working on changing my mentality to challenge my mind and body to push its limits, to get stronger and faster and to simply be better than the day before. By doing so, the sum of the efforts will amount to something great. I truly believe that hard work always pays off, so each day I commit myself to working as hard as I can. It’s so important, and I challenge you, to find your shaky point. To find a place of unease, out of your comfort zone. That is where growth begins. As they say, “If you always do what you’ve always done, nothing will change.” Of course, it is uncomfortable or potentially awkward to push ourselves towards something new or something that we are not used to. But with practice we can hopefully make feeling uncomfortable, more comfortable.
I have recently been using my yoga practice to challenge my mind and body in a safe environment. To go a little bit further than I’m used to. To hold poses for longer. All the while, calming my mind and heart with deep breathing. I like to use my breath to guide and relax my mind and body and find comfort in the uncomfortable. I especially love how my yoga practice extends far beyond my mat, as I carry my yoga breath into my every day life with physical and mental stress, life’s up and downs, challenges and excitement. Nevertheless, it amazes me just how much practice it takes to push your thoughts aside because they truly control us more than we may realize!
I challenge you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. To feel uncomfortable. The more you do it, the more comfortable it will become. Whether it’s trying to balance in a handstand. Approaching a stranger for conversation. Plunging into a new hobby. Applying for the job that you’ve always wanted to have. Whatever it may be that makes you uneasy, do it!
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