Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable!



We naturally avoid discomfort. It's safe to say that avoiding pain and increasing pleasure is a guiding principle for the human existence. However, this desire doesn’t always serve us well. Take exercise, for example. The majority of us view exercise as uncomfortable, a punishment or even a painful experience. 


Fortunately, exercise can become something we associate with pleasure, success, and strength!


The trick is, we have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to foster this transformation.


Here's an example of a psychological term called‘habituation’,which describes the process of sitting in discomfort to reap the reward of the activity.


Have you ever stepped into a swimming pool and immediately felt the overwhelming sensation of cold water? You may gasp, tense your muscles, move very slowly, or even try to escape the uncomfortable sensation. But, what happens when you stay in the cold water for a few minutes? You habituate! Your body eventually adapts to the cold water and the water becomes a comfortable and enjoyable experience!


Exercise is just like that cold swimming pool! Initially, exercise will be uncomfortable... and you may want to flee and escape. If you stick with it, and allow your body and mind to habituate, you will find exercise to be a pleasurable experience.


Remember! Just as you would not habituate to the cold water if you repeatedly get in and out of the water without staying temporarily uncomfortable, exercise will not become a joyful experience if you are not consistent and resilient.


Let's all set a goal to accept discomfort as a temporary state, which can transform itself into an amazing experience if we can simply stay focused and welcome the discomfort.


By Kassie Moronko

M.A., Psychology 

ACE certified personal trainer 


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