On January 1st of this year, I started a really uncomfortable routine.
At the end of every long, hot morning shower, I turn the faucet to ice-cold and stand there until I can take 10 controlled breaths: deep inhales and exhales.
(Try it... it's much more difficult than it sounds if you don't cheat and really make the water as cold as it can get.)
Why would I do this to myself?
Because there are a number of reported health benefits to cold exposure, including better blood circulation, heightened immune system, and increased metabolism... and I could use all of those things.
But this routine is not at all pleasurable for me.
And that's perhaps the most important benefit.
There are some things in life that are simply not pleasurable.
And learning how to deal with uncomfortable situations is important.
Those 10 deep breaths I take? They're not just a timer.
They're a way for me to know with certainty that I've successfully adapted to my uncomfortable circumstances. That despite the extreme and uncomfortable shock to my system, I'm in control of myself and my responses.
After I get myself under control, I change the situation (in the case of the cold shower, by calmly turning off the faucet) and carry on.
That's a pretty useful mindset to have even when you're not in the shower, isn't it?