Feel the fear and do it anyway, they say. But it’s much harder than it sounds! When you’re feeling uncomfortable, pushing through the pain and getting stuff done can feel almost impossible. However, if you can push even an inch, you’ve already succeeded. When you’re feeling like you’re outside of your comfort zone, here are a few basic survival tips to get you through.

Understand that pain is a call to action

Your body sends pain signals to get you into action. If it hurts, it’s a sure sign that you need to do something about it. Perhaps you need to break a habit that’s causing you pain, like drinking too much and waking up with a hangover, or overdoing the exercise and ending up with an injury. The pain won’t last, but the lessons you learn will.

Feel it physically

Listen to your body. What are the symptoms of discomfort for you? Not only will this help you to recognise them earlier on the next time you meet pain, it also cultivates greater body awareness. You don’t need to do anything to change the feelings, just recognise them and watch them change.

Notice repetitive thoughts

When you’re in a rut, the same thoughts keep bubbling up. Notice which of these thoughts is particularly persistent, and you’ll learn a lot about the way you do everything. If you’re scared that you’re not going to be good enough for something or someone, the chances are that this pattern shapes the rest of your life too. Again, there’s no need to change it. Just look at it for what it is.

Remember that no emotion can last forever

This one seems counterintuitive when you’re low. If you’ve ever experience depression or anxiety, you’ll know that at times of crisis, what you feel can seem like a permanent fixture that will never, ever go away. But it will. It is physically impossible for your brain to sustain one emotion forever. Have faith that you will feel differently. It’s just a matter of time.

Be honest with yourself, even if it’s painful

Every now and then, you might come across a thought so painful that you can’t bear to look at it. Perhaps it’s that you’re not happy in your relationship, or that you don’t like the way you look. While hiding these thoughts might provide temporary relief, in reality it lets them run rampant behind the scenes and dictate how you behave. Take stock, feel what you need to feel, then take action where needs be.

Being outside of your comfort zone can feel awful, but lead you to wonderful new opportunities. Embrace the ups and downs of life and know that in time, everything changes.