A comfort zone looks different for everyone. One person may find comfort in a group of friends, while another person may find comfort in curling up with a good book alone. Comfort and uncomfortable is subjective, but everyone needs to find a comfort zone. This is a balance of what is comfortable and what is uncomfortable but is still healthy. Continue reading to learn more!
What Is Comfort?
Author Lottie Storey asks the question of what really is comfort. The dictionary, she says, defines comfort (noun) as “‘a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint,’” and comfort (verb) as “‘to ease the fief or distress of.’” These definitions make her wonder, she says, if comfort is the absence of discomfort.
Why Do We Seek Comfort?
Psychotherapist Helena Lewis says, “‘We are programmed to seek comfort. Our comfort zones help us feel safe, secure and loved and this is important for everyone.’” She says that comfort can make us feel grounded. We often return to a state of comfort when we are feeling stressed, uneasy, or overwhelmed. Comfort, says Lewis, is “‘a place to regenerate and refresh, helping to protect us from whatever is going on around us emotionally, mentally and physically.’”
Should We Seek out Discomfort?
“‘Being either comfortable or uncomfortable can have a huge influence on our physiology and nervous system, and can alter our thought patterns and behaviors,’” she explains. “When we are comfortable, we tend to take things for granted, our effort may decrease and we may stop challenging ourselves. The opposite is true when we’re uncomfortable: although we may feel stressed, anxious, on high alert, emotional and unsettled, we’re also more likely to make changes, different decisions, or do things that are impulsive and out of character.” Doing different things is important, too. The more comfortable we get in our recovery, the more complacent we get. We learn to be okay with just being okay. We should, however, want to keep pushing and moving forward, creating a better life and recovery for ourselves. This just isn’t possible if all we are is comfortable. “‘Neurologically, we will push against being uncomfortable, automatically seeking comfort,’” says Lewis. “‘However, comfort can also prevent growth and development.”
Arbor Behavioral Healthcare doesn’t want you to get too comfortable in your recovery. We want to help you find your comfort zone, while also helping you learn to grow. Call us today at 844-413-2690. We can’t wait to speak with you and start this process together!