Day 33 - Discomfort
Robin Boudette, Ph.D.
Robin is a psychologist in Counseling and Psychological Services at Princeton University, and has worked 14 years with students. She is the former Director of the University Medical Center at Princeton Eating Disorders Program, and founder of the Mind-Body Health Services Team.
Aversion prompts the flip-side of compulsive behaviors. It is a strong dislike, disinclination even animosity that can derail our emotional state. Like cravings, aversions are often baked into our sub-conscious, and triggered unconsciously by a thought, feeling or emotional state. Aversions create discomfort.
Discomfort abounds in an environment of change and uncertainty. Neuroscience tells us that change of any kind sub-consciously signals danger, and that uncertainty registers in the brain as an unsettling error that needs to be resolved. These are primitive, somewhat irrational triggers - yet they take us out of our comfort zone and can adversely affect our emotions and behaviors.
The more we become aware through insight and self-inquiry, of our non-conscious aversions - the better we’re able to respond skillfully and rationally to difficult circumstances. Familiarity with our aversions can help us sit calmly, patiently and non-judgmentally with discomfort they may produce.