Your comfort zone is not a place; it is a feeling. It is a feeling you have that makes you feel safe, happy, and comfortable. Unfortunately, your comfort zone is always temporary. Eventually, it drifts away and you have to go chasing it again and again. This is why they say in Alcoholics Anonymous that recovery means “getting outside of your comfort zone.”
Everyone has their own comfort zone. With most people it is a repetition of some kind. The simple act of doing the same thing over and over again is somehow comfortable and satisfying in the beginning. Sometimes it is getting high off of alcohol or drugs or fantasies. Other times it comes from anger, love, food, controling others, being nice, gambling shopping–anything that you tried once and made you feel good.
The problem with our comfort zone is that we can become dependent on it. Then we lose control and become addicts. We have all been there at one time or another.
Getting outside our comfort zone means doing something that is new like recovery. Recovery involves creating a new comfort zone that will help you not hurt you. To find my new comfort zone I went to AA meetings, started doing service, got back into therapy and worked the 12-Steps.
I also turned to God and this provided me with a new comfort zone. My prayers were always welcome and most of them were answered. When I meditated I felt so serene I didn’t know what to do with myself. Serenity is one comfort zone I don’t mind getting dependent on.
The difference between a healthy and unhealthy comfot zone is that eventually you outgrow a healthy comfort zone. You just naturally move on to something different. You never feel like you are stuck there.
The real anecdote for a negative comfort zone is change. Change how you look at life. Become optimistic instead of cynical. Change how you behave [stop acting out]. Change how you think and then your life will change for the better one day at a time.
Susan Peabody, The Art of Changing.
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