Mohit is continuously tossing and turning in his sleep. The events from yesterday keep playing in his head. He is unable to understand why he is feeling this way and wishes that he could make it go away.
Mohit is feeling emotional discomfort.
What is emotional discomfort?
Emotional discomfort is the feeling of being uneasy with our thoughts, feelings, or actions.
It can interfere with our daily activities and make it difficult to concentrate.
What happens if we ignore discomfort?
Most of us deal with discomfort through distraction. We think that it will make the feeling go away. However, our body manifests it and the feelings keep building up in a suppressed manner in the long term.
Hurt and anger are related feelings of discomfort. When we do not express the pain it stays inside our bodies. When it comes out, it can come out as a blast of anger.
Ignoring it can also lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like binge-watching, eating disorders, or substance abuse.
How can we deal with discomfort?
Sit with the feeling- First, allow yourself to feel discomfort. As uncomfortable as that sounds, distraction can worsen the discomfort. Discomfort is our body’s way of telling us about our emotional needs. Ignoring it might help in the short term but the emotional needs still exist and need to be catered to in the long term. Here is a way to sit with discomfort:
Pay attention to the signals- Identifying discomfort can be complex. Listen to what your body is telling you. Physical signs of discomfort can look like body pains, trouble falling asleep, and brooding. Pay attention to the signals and acknowledge the discomfort. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
Identify the root- Next, think about what caused the discomfort. Think about the events which happened before. Was it a conversation with someone? Was it an action that caused you discomfort or maybe something you watched on tv? Identifying the root cause can help us understand where this feeling is coming from. Here is a way to identify the root:
Let it out – Once you have identified the cause let it out of your system. . Talk to someone or write it down on a piece of paper. Decluttering helps the brain relax and cools down our system. It also helps you release the suppressed anger and tension in your body as well.
Problem solve- Once you feel calmer. Think about how the event is related o the discomfort. Often time a mismatch in expectations can lead to discomfort. Try writing down what you had expected vs what happened. Then think about an effective way to communicate the gap. In case the discomfort is caused by a one-sided channel such as tv, try writing a letter to yourself using “I feel” statements.
Remember, every feeling communicates something to us. Feelings like discomfort do not need to be fixed instantly or ignored. Let’s make discomfort our friend and make it feel heard and understood.