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Tolerating Discomfort: Overcoming the Habit of Delay

Procrastination often arises from a desire to avoid negative emotions associated with a task. This discomfort intolerance can be overcome by learning to handle discomfort. Mindfulness, the practice of non-judgmental observation, helps in this process. By being fully present and accepting of discomfort, individuals can build inner strength.


Discomfort Resistance

Procrastination happens when you don't want to do something because it makes you feel bad or worried. This bad feeling could be anger, frustration, boredom, or other emotions. If you really, really don't like feeling this way, you might put off doing the task. This means that your dislike of feeling uncomfortable is what controls what you do.

Embracing Discomfort: Building Inner Strength

Practicing mindfulness allows you to be fully present, accepting each moment without judgment. When facing discomfort, the aim is to simply observe it without attempting to alter or resist it. This approach can paradoxically alleviate the intensity of discomfort, enabling you to manage it more effectively. Much like honing a skill, developing mindfulness and increasing discomfort tolerance requires consistent practice. With time and effort, you'll notice improvement in your ability to navigate challenging situations with greater ease and composure.


Mastering Mindfulness: Practical Techniques

Start by softly turning your attention to your immediate experience. Notice the gentle rise and fall of your breath, and how it feels as it enters and leaves your body. Take a moment to feel the sensations in your body – is there warmth, tingling, or any other sensation? Look around and observe the sights and sounds in your surroundings. Is there a soft hum or distant chatter? Perhaps there are colors and shapes that catch your eye.

Don't forget to check in with your mouth – is there a lingering taste from something you've eaten or drunk? Now, shift your focus inward and be attentive to any emotions or thoughts that arise. Are you feeling content, excited, or perhaps a little anxious? Are there any thoughts that come to mind, like plans for the day or memories of yesterday? And if you find yourself feeling uneasy or upset, that's okay. Take a moment to acknowledge and simply watch those feelings. Recognize them for what they are without trying to change them. This practice of being present with your senses, emotions, and thoughts is an essential step towards mindfulness and can lead to a greater sense of self-awareness and peace.

How to be Aware in Another POV

Another way to be aware is to imagine that you're like a detective. A detective pays very close attention to everything around them, right? So, just like a detective, start by looking around and noticing all the little details. What colors do you see? Are there any interesting shapes? Next, close your eyes and take a deep breath. What smells can you pick up? Is there something yummy cooking in the kitchen, or maybe you can smell the fresh air outside?

Now, listen carefully. What sounds are around you? Can you hear birds singing, or the hum of a computer? Pay attention to your body, too. Can you feel the floor beneath your feet, or the seat you're sitting on?

Lastly, check in with your feelings. Are you feeling happy, excited, calm, or maybe a little bit worried? It's important to notice all these things because it helps you understand and enjoy the world around you even more! So, just like a detective, keep your senses sharp and explore the world around you with curiosity and wonder!


Mindful Observation: Free from Judgment

Watch, Observe, No-Judgment: After becoming aware of your current experience, take on the role of an observer. This means stepping back from the situation, not trying to change anything, and not getting too caught up in it. Instead, you stand at a distance, much like watching a scene unfold. It's important to be a non-judgmental observer, which means refraining from labeling your experience as good or bad. This allows you to see things as they are, without adding value judgments. To aid in this non-judgmental observation, you can give a name to what you're experiencing, like "this is a thought," "this is a body sensation," or "this is a feeling."

If you find yourself feeling distressed during this practice, continue to watch and observe your discomfort without passing judgment. You might even use labels to identify and acknowledge these feelings, such as "this is the feeling of anger," "this is the feeling of boredom," or "this is the feeling of despair." Remember to view them as just feelings, without attaching any additional significance to them. Remind yourself that you are not defined solely by these feelings; they are just a part of your experience, and you are much more than that. This practice of watchful observation and non-judgmental awareness helps you develop a compassionate understanding of your inner world. It empowers you to respond to challenges with greater clarity, recognizing that you are a complex and resilient individual beyond your immediate feelings and thoughts.

Let Go

If you simply let your experience be, without trying to fight against it, there's a good chance it will naturally fade away on its own. Instead of struggling with it, invite it in and give it some space. You can use your breath to help with this. Inhale from the area where you feel the discomfort, and as you exhale, imagine it leaving with your breath. If the discomfort goes away, remember it might return, and that's perfectly fine.

Other suggestions

Much like being mindful, riding the wave of discomfort involves understanding that our emotions are like waves. They build up, reach a peak, then gradually calm down. Picture your discomfort as a wave. Just like a wave, the discomfort won't last forever, and eventually, it will start to ease and fade away.


Embracing Discomfort: The Psychotherapeutic Approach to Overcoming Procrastination

In psychotherapy, individuals often explore their thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors. Procrastination is a behavior that can be linked to various underlying emotional and psychological factors.

Procrastination is often driven by the discomfort or negative emotions associated with a task. This discomfort might stem from issues like anxiety, fear of failure, perfectionism, or avoidance of challenging emotions. Understanding and addressing this discomfort is a key aspect of psychotherapy. It involves learning to tolerate and work through these emotions, rather than avoiding them through procrastination.



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