MBSR learning #6: Try to persevere through minor discomforts

persevereOne of the teachings of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) is to persevere or work through minor discomforts as you encounter them.

This means, for example, while meditating, when you have an itch on your body, resist the temptation to scratch it. Or when your body is uncomfortable, try not to move.  It’s actually very interesting to see that the itch goes away after a short time on its own.  The reason for this perseverance is to build the skill of being OK with some discomfort.  The more you build this skill, the more you are able to deal with the multiple discomforts you experience in life everyday, and the less they will bother you.

You can build this skill even if you do not meditate.  The next time you have a discomfort, like an itch, practice noticing it, acknowledging it, but not to try to get rid of it. Let it be, and notice that it may go away.

If it doesn’t go away, or you just feel you aren’t ready to allow it to ‘be’, then it’s OK to do something about it (scratch it), but perform the act of scratching in a mindful, intentional way.

Try it out… it’s rather interesting.

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