“Do one thing everyday that scares you. Those small things that make us uncomfortable help us build courage to do the work we do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
Here’s your gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive. You can always talk to me more about these ideas by replying to this email.
Allergies, Exposure and Discomfort
Often when we’re going through loss, when memories come up with the most random things, we start to avoid those triggers entirely. We believe time will heal our sudden spiral down memory lane. Yet, even years later, a specific song or food brings about the same memory with the same effects.
It’s how we’re conditioned, really. If you don’t like something, cut it off. If something brings discomfort, remove it. It’s a good policy to live by, but there has to be a line. Where does it stop? Will we keep removing everything that makes life or our days difficult?
This isn’t even limited to memories. Even the healthiest habits are peppered with discomforting situations. Working out is difficult, and so is true self-care. I’ve realised there’s a parallel here to how allergies are often treated, especially in children. I am no stranger to allergies either; I suffer from rhinitis, which gets triggered rather frequently.
In any case, allergen immunotherapy is a common practice that is used to treat allergies. The idea is simple: a minuscule amount of allergen is introduced into the body to build a tolerance to it. It’s very similar to how vaccines work in some ways. There are different methods to do this, but the core idea is this: expose yourself in small doses.
If you’re going through a period of loss, perhaps, a breakup or if you’re struggling to build habits, think of it in this way: instead of avoiding discomfort, introduce a very controlled, very tiny amount of it in your life. Eventually, you will get used to it.
With discomfort, the old maxim—the only way is through—works wonders.
What’s On My Mind?
The idea that inspiration is ephemeral. Therefore, it should be our priority to get to the first checkpoint when we feel inspired. If we don’t make it that far, we won’t continue whatever the inspiration was for; if we do it, however, we give ourselves a fighting chance to wrap it up even when the burst of inspiration wanes.
I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.
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