Don’t be afraid of discomfort
13 08 2013 • Tanya Kazeminy Mackay
Don’t be afraid of discomfort
In our modern day lives we do a lot of things to avoid discomfort. But if we can learn to relax when we feel it, we might be surprised at how quickly it passes and how much we can learn and grow from it.
Discomfort is completely different to pain – but sometimes we confuse the two. Discomfort is something mental or physical that has taken you outside of your comfort zone. It is not painful, it is just uncomfortable.
In this pregnant and new mama stage in your life you are going to experience a lot of discomfort…. due to totally normal physical and psychological changes and these changes may take you well outside of your comfort zone. In pregnancy it could be heavy legs, feeling hot, an itchy tummy, swollen boobs or even your sheer size change. As a new mama it could be lack of sleep, dealing with the anxiety which can come with such intense love, wishing for your pre-baby body, milk filled boobs. The list goes on and on but you get the gist….
I want to encourage you to start to recognise discomfort and instead of getting upset about it or avoiding it, if you can kind of come to terms with it and relax – it will make the next year a lot easier for you.
Here is a little exercise… I want you to hold your breath. Holding your breath is a discomfort. And while you do pay close attention to the way you feel. Do you feel panic? Do you feel like you want to stop and gasp in air while you still can? Because, FYI, there really is no shortage of air, you can take another breath whenever you want! So why does it make us panic so? Discomfort is often a mental issue. If you can just relax and feel the changes, experience them but almost carry on about your business you will see that you can hold your breath much longer than you think. (Gasp, gulp – I have been holding mine for this whole para!).
The inspiration for this post came about through doing these totally trying yoga classes recently and in them you hold a really challenging position for 5-7 minutes. I can’t tell you what all goes on for those 5 minutes in an uncomfortable posture. In my head I tantrum, I rant, I plead with myself primarily for some sort of release from this excruciating torture. But the truth is – it isn’t excruciating and it isn’t torture – it is just discomfort. And I would prefer not to feel it, but if I can relax, with time, it will pass.
Ironically, the most discomfort occurs in the positions where I most need to stretch or to grow. And the only way to get where I need to be is to pass through the discomfort.
There is something quite amazing in this realisation. If you can recognise discomfort and rather than panic about it, you can even find the learning in it. So when your body does not feel within your comfort zone, instead of fighting it, you relax and recognise the wonder in what is going on in your body. And you accept and understand that it is an intrinsic part of your growth process of motherhood, it makes the whole process less stressful and a lot more full of wonder.
A little follow on note:
I am aware that the language doctors and websites use in relation to pregnancy tell you discomfort is an indication of something more serious. And please do pay attention to anything that feels like it may be wrong or worrying. The discomfort I am referring to is the stuff that is all par for the course in pregnancy and post pregnancy. I had a whole debate with myself about changing the word discomfort to uncomfortable – but it just didn’t feel right. So I have stuck with discomfort with a little note to you all to listen to your instincts and always err on the side of caution with babies. x
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