“As is the case with all human behaviour, distraction is just another way our brains attempt to deal with pain. If we accept this fact, it makes sense that the only way to handle distraction is by learning to handle discomfort.”
Nir Eyal, indistractable, (2019)
Stopping, closing your eyes and meditating on your inner world isn’t always comfortable if you are doing it for self healing. There will be times when uncomfortable feelings and sensations arise. And these will arise when you are disciplined enough to stay with your practice long enough, that you go deeper.
Going deeper isn’t always comfortable. When you have the first sign of an uncomfortable feeling you can tend to 1/ Distract yourself from feeling the pain. 2/ Stop sooner and open your eyes, 3/ Switch to focusing on the thoughts in your head rather than your body or 4/ Leave your body entirely and float off.
All of these are escapes from feeling what’s actually going on in the present moment in your body now. You cannot heal further if you don’t accept and allow the deeper pain to release.
Feeling the difficult feelings is the key. Making it okay to feel what is there in manageable doses. Accepting that they are normal. Staying with the body part and sensation helps to keep you out of your head. Adding a story about the painful feeling doesn’t help. Feeling it directly in your body is what helps it move and release the most.
It is okay to feel difficult and painful feelings. They are part of the human condition. Ignoring them will likely just create more problems later that you don’t need. So allowing pain, fear and anger to arise without judgment, in manageable doses, can go a long way to releasing painful feelings easily.
As you accept and release the discomfort, you will need to distract yourself less. So it becomes easier to stay on task and follow through on commitments.