Editorial: Comfortable Discomfort

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If you were a regular reader of Chimes last year you might have been familiar with the editorials from Josh Parks, last year’s editor-in-chief. As a music student and violin player he often drew upon musical references to write his editorials. I am not as much into music. But I do practice yoga, and so you might be getting more references along those lines.

In my early Monday morning yoga class, in the midst of a difficult stillness pose, the instructor told us to find a moment of comfortable discomfort. So while I settled into my half-pigeon I thought about the possibility of finding comfort in the midst of discomfort. And I realized it’s very possible and not just in yoga.

In a stillness pose, you are straining a targeted section of your body while the rest is allowed to relax. The thing is, because one area of you is under so much strain you tend to keep the rest of your body tensed in response. It takes a conscious effort to make yourself relax and find the comfort most of your body can reach while that one area is under stress.

The same thing can be reached in day to day life. College students experience most of their stress from schoolwork. This is obviously a large part of our lives and takes a lot of our time and attention, but not all of it. There are parts of our lives that can allow us to relax. Friends, family, time alone, time off campus.

The work we need to do for our classes may still be in the back of our minds, might still cause us stress, but for a couple of hours, a night, a weekend we can put that stress, that strain, into one focused area and allow the rest to find some relaxment. The thought of the homework that we’re putting off might still make us uncomfortable, but being comfort is still possible despite that discomfort.

Sometimes it’s extremely difficult and takes a very conscious effort, but comfortable discomfort is entirely possible. So as midterms set in on all of us in full force, and with advising break coming right when we need it but not lasting near as long as we would like it to, I hope you can find your own moment of comfortable discomfort.