We humans are comfort-seeking animals. We had to be. For thousands of years, we needed to savour any comforts we had.
Up until recently, life's been hard. Comfort was a signal you were doing something right - gorging on food, keeping warm by a fire, staying undercover during a storm. Comfort helped us survive.
We don't live in that world anymore. We sleep in heated homes. We drive to work in heated cars. We eat at the first sign of hunger. We're constantly stimulated and never experience boredom.
Is this a bad thing?
No. Life's great.
But comforts stop feeling so good when that's all you experience. Tucking in to watch Netflix feels so much better when you've done something to earn it like running hills, or squatting heavy.
We're built to thrive of stress. We're built to adapt to our environment. We are built to suffer.
It's counterintuitive but up until a point, the more discomfort you experience, the better you perform. So what can you do?
1- Physical strain:
Lift something heavy or push yourself until you feel your lungs may explode out of your chest.
2- Environmental conditioning:
Ice baths paired with a sauna or spa would be ideal. Sitting in freezing water and controlling your breath is hard. Master it and watch seemingly unrelated areas in your life improve.
Wouldn't it be crazy if we didn't eat at the first sign of hunger? What a wild idea that is. How about you start skipping breakfast? How about doing 1 day a month where you don't eat? In his book “The Comfort Crisis” Michael Easter recommends 1 day of less than 500 calories per week.
4- Get bored:
Our phones are rarely out of arms reach. How about next time you go on a run, or even a car trip, you don't listen to anything. Can you sit for 10, 15 or 20 minutes with nothing but your own head?
Notice how you feel throughout the experience. Notice how you feel after. You'll probably hate how it feels the first few times. But notice the effect it has on your mood, mindset and energy for the rest of the day.