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The Current Dramatization of Minor Discomforts -- How To Deal With It Better

Updated: May 18

Embracing Life's Discomforts

Discomfort, regardless of size, lingers in our minds like dirt in our noses. No matter how much we clear our nose, the air we breathe carries new, uncomfortable dirt, standing in the way of our breath. Similarly, everyday life presents varieties of minor unease into our ears and other senses, no matter our situation or circumstance.

Do you really think we can live a life that is completely free of any unease, of any degree of suffering, no matter how big or small? If we are not hungry, we will starve. If we are not thirsty, we will avoid drinking more often. Discomfort, therefore, contains a practical aspect that is worth embracing in the name of our survival.

Perhaps children often feel less discomfort because they have their family to take care of them, so they have less to worry about. However, it's often that once we grow into adulthood, we may be less happy because we have far more concerns. Perhaps being yourself as an adult can reduce your unhappiness, yes? But "being yourself" won't negate the fact that you have bills to pay and things to afford.

Rich or poor, popular or rejected as insane, empowered or controlled, our minds catch these discomforts. Like flies to honey, they stick in our consciousness. The presence of discomfort is an inseparable part of life's package. Of everyone's package. However, how we choose to perceive it, the emotional weight we assign it, -- that, dear readers, is pretty much our choice.

Many struggle to distinguish between the "discomfort feature" and the way they choose to see it. They may see both their perception and its subject, as the same. This, in turn, negates our potential to endure it better. Why? Because our experience is shaped not only by what we experience, but also by how we regard it. Inspecting our perspectives, therefore, is imperative in the ability to customize the ways we experience the world.

Our unwillingness or ignorance of the power of introspection, breeds an unconscious tendency to inflate inconveniences and individuals, leading to unnecessary, reduceable suffering.

Instead of seeing them as unwanted dust bunnies, let us view them as fleeting clouds, passing shadows. Acknowledge their presence, yes, but don't let them rent too much space in your mentality. For much of our perception, and not just the discomfort itself, that determines its power over us.

With a shift in perspective, we can remind ourselves that life is dynamic, ever-changing. We use our minds to strenghten our resilience by breaking the cognitive habits of our thinking, and reconstructing them. Our ability to navigate the ups and downs of life, is possible with greater ease and greater motivation, for we are not necessarily batteries to be recharged, but generators. Either way, a life devoid of any bumps or discomfort, would be a bland one indeed, as the absence of risk is, in a way, a great risk by itself -- risk of opportunity.

Finding Opportunity in Discomfort

Modern life offers a new level of comfort; a comfort that surpasses the hardships our ancestors endured through plagues, poverty, persecution, pillaging, human rights abuses, and military conflicts. We, the modern humans, undeniably enjoy a far wider spectrum of comfort, and pleasure compared to our distant past.

Of course, it's although not all people enjoy the same level of comfort, making it, at large, a privilage that many people nonetheless have. Ignored minorities may have it harder, for example, as well as people who have to deal with war.

And yet, in this era of comfort and hedonism, many of us still find ourselves agonizing over the remnants of discomfort that modernity has yet to eliminate. It's like a single grain of dirt amidst a pristine beach, a minor inconvenience that has survived the mass extinction of its larger counterparts.

An example familiar to many: our modern impatience. Ironically, despite instant access at our fingertips, we often struggle with waiting. It can largely be due to stress. And of course, modern life, despite its entertainment value, is full of stress.

I experienced this very issue once of impatience. My barber, promising a 10 minute break, vanished for 20 30 minutes. While many would complain, I saw this delay as an opportunity for introspection. Thanks to this "minor" discomfort, I took the inspiration to write (and later on, revamp) this article. Had the barber returned swiftly, this piece might as well never have came to fruition.

This is my point: even the tiniest discomforts can spark immense productivity. They transform from annoying hiccups into springboards for creative leaps and other opportunities.

Consider the possibility that comfort may hinder you from taking the necessary risks for new opportunities to be formed. Having your comfort unchallenged could make you less resourceful as resourcefulness comes at times of discomfort. That's because problematic times can serve as windows for thinking outside of the box.

And by being more resourceful you can have a better chance at realizing more portions of your potential.


So, when discomfort arises, ask yourself:

  1. "Is this really as bad as I perceive it?" Often, our minds amplify inconvenience.

  2. "How can I convert this into a productive possibility?" Reframe the challenge as an opportunity for growth.

Remember, the next time you encounter "a single grain of sand," it might just hold the potential for the production of something else, that wouldn't be there, if it weren't for it.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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