Embracing healthy discomfort brings healing for you (and your dogs + cats!)
So what is healthy discomfort? Let’s sidestep this for just a moment, and come at this topic from another angle. Everyone (including me!) is at risk of enjoying comfort just a little bit too much. This potentially leads to avoiding ALL discomfort, and that’s one of the most dangerous things that you can do when it comes to your well-being and the well-being of your beloved pets. There are a lot of things that you need to do, and that you need to ask your beloved pets to do, that involve at least some level of discomfort.
Not doing unhealthy things like alcohol or smoking/vaping (the list could go for days) means that you’re going to have to feel whatever you’ve been suppressing with these activities. That’s gonna be uncomfortable!
Doing healthy things like exercise, further education, training, generally growing into a better human, a stronger leader, or becoming healthier and stronger inevitably demands some level of discomfort. Especially if you want to get really fit, strong, healthy, present, calm, and coherent throughout your life.
I define healthy discomfort as any discomfort that does you no harm, but is necessary for you to make any kind of positive change, or to grow and evolve as a human being. Aerobic exercise hurts a bit while you’re doing it. Lifting heavy weights is uncomfortable while you’re doing it. Both leave you with sore muscles the next day, which is also uncomfortable.
Being disciplined about doing all the admin and structural work in your life and business can be boring – or maybe you actively dislike it (like me with bookkeeping!). Having difficult conversations with your friends and loved ones (rather than avoiding them, letting things simmer, breeding resentment and anger, and damaging relationships over time) is uncomfortable- but necessary (and the longer you leave these conversations, the harder they get!
I realised just how valuable healthy discomfort is for me personally during the recovery process form my second marriage, which left me a serious wreck, with PTSD. I started asking for help for the first time in my life. That was uncomfortable. I went to therapy, and faced my trauma, unhealthy habits, weaknesses, and shadows. That was terrifying at first! I made my 5 day a week morning practice absolutely non-negotiable, with 2 hours of meditation, self-energy healing processes, resistance exercise, and chi gong. That was uncomfortable just about every goddamned morning when the alarm went off, and often quite uncomfortable while I was doing it.
Maybe 3-6 months after I started consistently embracing healthy discomfort in this consistent, ongoing way, I noticed that I suddenly felt stronger, had more energy, had more focus, and was getting a whole lot more done. Now- 5 years down the track, I am carrying so much more muscle. I am super-active. I’m recovered from CFS/LYME. I’m working at least 40-50 hours a week in my business. I recorded an album this year. I’m on the cusp of finishing a book that will be published early next year. I’m in the healthiest loving, awesome relationship I’ve ever had. And things are steadily improving on all of these fronts.
And guess what? This morning my morning practices were quite intensely uncomfortable – emotionally and physically. I still often hate getting up early and doing all this stuff. But I enjoy the growing benefits, and that’s the incredible reward that you’ll reap if you make a practice of not only embracing healthy discomfort – but at the same time steadily increasing your capacity to hold more and more of it. This is like a muscle you can train to become stronger and stronger.
How healthy discomfort helps your beloved pets!
Everything you do to make yourself happier, calmer, fitter, stronger, more vital, and more present, significantly helps your pets. I’ve seen incredible transformations in my pets as I’ve transformed my life for the better through continually embracing (and increasing my capacity for) healthy discomfort.
Doing this exercises and strengthens your will. Which you’re going to need big time when you realise that there are things you can gently insist your pets do (like dieting, cutting down on treats, fasting for one day a week, or having therapeutic touch to release pain from their body) that involve healthy discomfort for them too. Because you need to crumble when they look at you with big sad eyes, telling you they are dying of hunger…
All in all, embracing healthy discomfort is life-transforming in the deepest, most powerful way. But you have to do it. And you have to do it all the time. AND you have to know you’ll only enjoy the benefits quite some time after you experience the healthy discomfort involved in doing what you really need, rather than what you want.
And here’s where you can click through to watch this week’s video where I talk live about these themes from a bit of a different angle.
And – if you haven’t yet come along to Dr. Ed’s free Pet Silent Pain Masterclass, you can register for that at this link.