Advertising
Advertising

Are You a Comfort Junkie?

Are You a Comfort Junkie?

    Picture this…

    You’ve decided you want to get in shape. Get a little fitter, healthier and stronger. Buff up and gain some muscle. Possibly even a six-pack. You head off to the local gym, sign on the dotted line, hand over some cash and then head straight home. You would have done a workout on the spot but it wasn’t really a good time. So the following day you get up, put on your new gym outfit – the one you bought on credit – and head off to the club. You arrive looking resplendent in your new workout gear. You put your valuables in a locker, pin your key to your shirt and head out on to the gym floor.

    You look at all the bods in the gym sweating, grunting, pushing, panting and generally getting uncomfortable and to be honest, it really doesn’t look so appealing to you. The reality of exercise doesn’t seem nearly as much fun as the idea of it all. And if there’s one thing you like, it’s fun.

    Advertising

    Strange people on strange equipment

    You move around the gym looking curiously at the strange people on the strange equipment and nothing looks particularly enticing or enjoyable. In fact, it all looks a little uncomfortable and if there’s one thing you have an aversion to, it’s discomfort. Finally you find something which appeals to you; a weird-looking bike, with a back rest, arm rests and a built-in TV. Giddyup. Now you’re interested.

      The first workout

      You call over the gym dude with the big arms and little head and he shows you how to program a workout on the bike and more importantly, how to use the TV. You ignore the first part of the lesson but soak up the TV tutorial. While the multitudes sweat all around you, you stay focused on your wildlife documentary and use the pedals of the bike as nothing more than a lop-sided footstool. Literally. Not a single turn of the pedals, not a deviation of your heart rate and not a bead of sweat to be seen. Forty five minutes later your workout is done and you head back to the locker room. You return your key to reception, purchase a well-earned drink and wave goodbye to the staff at the front desk. You stride triumphantly to your car and wonder why you didn’t join a gym years ago; “It ain’t that hard”, you think to yourself.

      Getting into a routine

      You enjoy your workout so much that you decide to go five days a week. You create a little ritual for yourself. Same bike, same corner of the gym, same rewarding drink at the end of each session, and of course that same triumphant power-walk to the car.

      Advertising

      After three months of toil you’re informed that you’re due for your re-assessment. The dude with the little head takes you into a pokey room with a bunch of weird looking gadgets and a plethora of indecipherable charts and tables on the wall. He pokes, prods, measures and weighs you. He looks somewhat concerned. He informs you that you’re fatter, heavier, weaker and less fit than when you started.

      What? No results!

      You’re disgusted and disillusioned. You can’t understand how going to the gym five days a week for three months can equate to such poor results. You tear up your membership card and you vow never to return to a gym. If only you had actually done something while you were there. If only you had got a little uncomfortable.

      Now, I know watcha thinking: “as if anyone’s gonna do that!”

      Advertising

        It ain’t just a silly story

        Well you may (or may not) be surprised to learn that this story is a metaphor for way too many lives. Lives spent avoiding anything that looks like hard work or discomfort. Anything that might actually produce some quality results. Anything that might get people out of their secure, familiar little boxes. Anything that might cause them to learn, grow, adapt and change. Some people spend their life sitting on the comfy bike, resting their feet on the pedals (rather than turning them), watching the TV and wondering why they get zero results. Why they make no progress.

        When it comes to achieving genuine personal growth and seeing real positive change in our world (as opposed to the all-too-common, short-term burst of motivation and temporary behavioural change), there’s a bunch of potential hurdles and obstacles that we need to negotiate and navigate our way around in order to create the new and improved version of us. There is however one standout at the very top of most ‘hurdles and obstacles’ lists…

        We are comfort junkies!

        Yep, being addicted to comfort can be somewhat problematic, if not catastrophic, for the wanna-be, modern-day success story. The truth is, if you’re not experiencing and dealing with pain, discomfort and fear on at least a semi-regular basis, you’re probably not learning, growing, changing, adapting and exploring your potential as you should be. If you’re all about personal growth, maximising your ability and positive change, then avoid the tough (uncomfortable, inconvenient, painful) stuff at your peril.

        Life can be an amazing and incredible ride. It can also be a messy, unfair and uncomfortable place to be. It’s our classroom. It’s where we learn and grow – when we choose to pedal the bike. As I’ve said before, pain is one of our greatest teachers but we need to be willing students.

        Advertising

        We don’t learn, grow, adapt and improve by gravitating towards all things safe, comfortable, familiar and convenient. No, we actually begin to develop and change for the better when we get off the couch, roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. Some of us have been masters of avoidance for too long.

        If you’ve been reclining on the comfy bike forever, then maybe it’s time for you to start pedalling.

        If you’re serious about becoming the new-and-improved version of you, then stop looking for easy and start looking for effective. Don’t do what’s comfortable or convenient, do what works.

        More by this author

        Craig Harper

        Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

        Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life? Do You Make These 10 Common Mistakes Before Weighing Yourself? If your Childhood Sucked – It’s Time to Stop Blaming Your Parents! Exploring Relationships with the Single Weirdo Education Should be More than Academic Basics

        Trending in Lifestyle

        1 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away 2 10 Most Entertaining Things To Do During A Long Journey 3 Definition and Techniques of Photo Editing 4 Can You Stop Depression from Damaging Your Brain? 5 How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

        13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

        Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

        Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

        Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

        1. Stress Eating

        I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

        While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

        I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

        If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

        How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

        2. Nail Biting

        Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

        People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

        Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

        For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

        Advertising

        3. Hanging out with Naysayers

        We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

        Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

        Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

        4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

        Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

        While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

        Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

        Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

        5. Smoking

        Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

        In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

        Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

        Smoking risks

          6. Excessive Drinking

          All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

          Advertising

          According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

          • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
          • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
          • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
          • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
          • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

          If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

          If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

          7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

          Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

          If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

          A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

          “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

          And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

          While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

          Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

          Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

          8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

          There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

          Advertising

          In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

          Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

          Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

          9. Watching Too Much TV

          I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

          Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

          Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

          It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

          10. Being Late

          Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

          Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

          Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

          11. Being in Bad Relationships

          Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

          I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

          Advertising

          Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

          12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

          Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

          Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

          Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

          By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

          Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

          13. Focusing on the Negatives

          In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

          Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

          Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

          And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

          The Bottom Line

          So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

          Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

          Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

          Reference

          Read Next