Finding Comfort During Discomfort
Written By: Andy Maurer
Andy is a keynote speaker and an emotional wellness coach for leaders. In addition, he has a background as a licensed therapist specializing in leadership and trauma. He works with high-performance leaders, including CEO’s, founders, entrepreneurs, and influencers, educating and equipping them on the issue of toxic stress, and trauma and its impact on their work and relationships. After years of working with leaders, he has come to believe that any leader can change the world, but only whole and emotionally health leaders can change the world for the better. Andy uses mindfulness and experiential-based exercises to bring about deep transformational change from the inside out. He earned both a Masters of Divinity in Professional Counseling from Phoenix Seminary and a Masters in Marital Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary. Learn more at andymaurer.com
As humans, we crave comfort. In the midst of a world surrounded by dis-ease, loss, fear, and brokenness, our bodies, hearts, and minds are looking for a moment of peace. So, what’s holding us back? Something is lurking deep within us that might be disrupting our sense of comfort. As new research comes out about the body and brain, scientists have found one human experience that comprehensively strips us from our sense of comfort. This human experience is trauma.
Trauma happens when we experience an event or series or events as psychologically or physically harmful or overwhelming and results in long term psychological, relational, spiritual, and physical effects.
While there are many symptoms of trauma, one of the most prevalent is its ability to shatter our sense of comfort in our bodies. Let me give you two examples of how this happens.
First, trauma teaches us to distrust our emotions in our bodies. Emotion is not a logical process; it is a bodily experience. For instance, if you feel sad, you might notice that your shoulders are hunched over, your stomach is churning, and your energy has gone out of your body. Trauma produces all sorts of uncomfortable emotions, such as fear, anger, sadness, and shame. In attempts to avoid these uncomfortable emotions, we tend to ignore our body and stop paying attention to the physical sensations happening. As a result, we lose touch with what we feel and therefore struggle to name, experience, and communicate our emotions in ways that build connection.
Second, trauma teaches us to override our bodies. Our bodies are sending us signals all day long. Our stomach churns when we are hungry, our heart rate elevates when we are nervous or excited, and our eyes begin to droop when we become tired. When trauma is present we lose touch with the wisdom of our bodies and instead override our body’s voice. We drink more caffeine when we should go lay down for 10 minutes and we hold our breath when anxious instead of inhaling deeply. Because of trauma, instead of comforting our bodies by listening to them and taking care of them, we subconsciously or consciously numb them, ignore them, and detach from them. As a result, we experience further bodily discomfort and pain.
While trauma naturally steals our sense of comfort, what if there was a simple way you could heal trauma by replacing the feelings that make us most uncomfortable with comfort? And what if this change taught us to nurture our bodies, value our bodies, and listen to our bodies, rather than avoid them, distrust them, and escape them? This is what inspires Sportiqe’s mission, that “no matter where you are in life, you deserve to be comfortable”. When you’re comfortable you are able to be the best version of yourself and therefore heal the effects of trauma inside you. Here are two ways this happens.
First, comfort teaches us that our bodies have value. Most of us would never wear an article of clothing that pokes, pulls, and squeezes us in a way that creates discomfort. By choosing a brand of clothing that “fits right and feels comfortable” we nurture our bodies, rather than wounding them. Putting on comfort, in the form of clothing, is one way that we subconsciously communicate to our bodies, “you are a part of me and it is my responsibility to keep you warm and comfortable in the midst of a world that is harsh and chaotic.”
Second, comfort teaches us that our bodies are safe. Instead of fearing the uncomfortable emotions and sensations in the body, by putting on clothing that is comfortable our focus and attention can attune to the enjoyable and positive sensations in our body. Instead of consistently being drawn to what feels wrong in our bodies, what if we could focus on the light and soft pressure of cotton on our skin or the soothing comfort of a hoodie that feels like a warm embrace and hug. As we shift our focus and attention, we will find safety in the places that we feel most insecure.
What if, in a world of chaos and trauma that teaches you to disconnect from your body, you could feel comfort, safety, and delight in your body. What if there was a way to “put on comfort” and replace any feelings the make you uncomfortable? Sportiqe makes this possible, because the reality is, in a world of chaos and discomfort, you deserve to be comfortable in your body and in your being.