Comfort: What Is It and Why Does It Matter

One of the most important aspects of apparel — and life as a whole — is comfort. When we think of comfort, there are so many factors to consider. There’s physical comfort that has to do with our tangible well-being and emotional comfort when someone or something is soothing us.

Some people may think that great comfort is a privilege, but it’s so much more than that. Comfort is vital to your health, and it’s something we can all incorporate more into our daily lives. While our mind and body are made to sustain a certain amount of discomfort for developmental purposes, it’s not meant to be a long-term state of being.

With that said, let’s take a look at what exactly comfort is, where you can find it, and how you can start implementing it into your life. You’ll be amazed to find that the smallest changes in your life can make the biggest impact.

What Is Comfort?

When you look through the word lists in an English dictionary for the definition of comfort or example sentences using the word, you’ll find scores of answers. This Anglo-French word of the day can generally be seen as a good feeling, aid, or the act of soothing. 

According to a thesaurus, some synonyms for comfort are amenity, contentment, and compassion. A couple of antonyms are agitated and brought down. You could even see the phrase cold comfort as an antonym, which refers to something that might be meant to bring comfort but doesn’t.

Comfort has a couple of different uses: as a verb and then as a noun. When you add certain endings to the word, it can also be an adjective and adverb.

Here, the different definitions we find are where the distinction between physical ease and emotional ease comes into play.

Physical Comfort

One definition talks about comfort in terms of making someone or something physically comfortable.

That can happen in a variety of ways, like: 

  • A chair with the right amount of cushion to it can comfort someone (or make them comfortable). 
  • If you’re a cat lover, you’re probably familiar with how plastic bags and cardboard boxes hilariously give cats physical comfort.
  • Your favorite pair of shorts can provide comforting softness and breathability.
  • Think about the alleviation you feel when you feel warmth spreading over you from a bonfire on a cold autumn night.

Emotional Comfort

Still, physical comfort is only one-half of the equation. Emotional comfort can involve consoling others, bringing cheer, or even self-soothing. 

You can think of this as when your friend is going through a hard time, and you do whatever your friend needs at the moment to make what they’re going through easier for them.

Comfort can be a feeling of relief you experience. If your love language is physical touch, try remembering the feeling of an embrace when that was all you needed to feel grounded. Times like these show that emotional and physical comfort truly do go hand-in-hand, and it’s essential to embrace both in order to find your inner peace.

As you can see, there are a plethora of meanings for the word comfort, and they're even more slight nuances to it than we covered. Still, we don’t need to know comfort’s etymology or derivatives to understand why it’s essential — the real power of comfort is an experience that no unabridged wiktionary could ever truly describe.

Now that we’ve reviewed the definition of comfort, we can chat about why it’s important. After all, a little conforto (“comfort” in Italian) goes a long way.

What’s So Important About Comfort?

We can probably all agree that comfort is a nice state to be in, but there are plenty of concrete reasons why it’s something you should strive to make a part of your daily life. 

Mental and Emotional Benefits

Some consider comfort a skill to learn and teach others that centers around caring for people and creating connections with them. Like any other skill, it takes time, consistency, and patience to learn and master comfort before you can see the fruits of your labor. 

The practice of implementing comfort contributes to the formation of aspects of life that we need to function fully and healthily. Because of the sense of relief that it can bring us on a deep level naturally leads to a sense of belonging, trust, and other healthy manifestations.

On the other hand, if comfort is not a part of your daily life, it can affect your mental ability and emotional stability. There are a handful of ways that long-term stress and discomfort affect your brain.

One of these effects is interference with memory. People can become more forgetful in their day-to-day lives, not remembering details about events or schedules. It doesn’t affect your long-term memory as much as your short-term memory.

Stress can even cause your brain to shrink and lose brain cells. The parts of your brain that regulate emotions and metabolism can become smaller, making it harder for you to operate as well as you should under everyday stress. Those parts of the brain are more likely to have their new neurons die within a week (which is less time than normal).

Physical Health

You would not believe the responses of your body to comfort. It can do everything from helping to lower blood pressure and increase your energy throughout the day to encouraging your body’s natural ability to heal after injuries.

Comfort can even help release your body of physical tension. If you suffer from long-term physical tension, you can experience bodily aches from knots in your muscles.

Even comfort food has health benefits. It’s not only called comfort food because it brings us some pleasure when we eat it. Your heart may be happy, but your body is up for celebrating too.

Our comfort food menu can be as unique as we are — everyone has a different go-to. It turns out that comfort food isn’t so much about the category (ice cream, cookies, chicken noodle soup) but about the memories tied to the menu

It’s related to a positive state of mind, stress resistance, and euphoria — connecting our physical comfort to our emotional health. 

With all of that in mind, we can talk about ways to bring some comforts of home into your daily life as quickly as a New York minute. 

Comforting Snacks and Meals

A little comfort food can play a role in comfort in a big way. While you should be centering your eating habits around what your body needs to function, don’t be shy to find ways to add some of your favorite food items into your meals if you can.

Bananas by themselves are a great snack when you’re on the go. If you want to spice things up, add chocolate chips (even better if it’s dark chocolate) and/or peanut butter to the mix. When you’re craving dessert, you could never go wrong with a banana split. And that’s only one from our list of comfort foods.

Get a little creative, and you’ll have endless options. For example, you can throw a big potluck and invite all your friends to bring their comfort meal of choice. Who knows? Maybe everyone will find a new favorite, spurred by the happy memories of a gathering of loved ones. 

Comforting Clothes

Is it just us, or is it sometimes the case that your favorite big hoodie is all you need for superior comfort? Maybe sweatpants? It’s almost unexplainable, but there’s something special about apparel.

That said, a surefire way to add comfort to your life is through your clothes, specifically from TomboyX. Do not underestimate the power of a comfortable piece of clothing. In fact, activewear, with its stretchy and soft-to-the-touch material, can bring you endless comfort. 

Let’s take leggings, for example. When you’re totally over wearing jeans, and you want bottoms to wear that are perfect for both lounging and high activity days, leggings hit the spot like nothing else.

However, when you want to head straight to lounge town, lounge and sleepwear are the ultimate apparel of choice. 

Get in Your Comfort Zone

We know that you’re probably used to hearing the complete opposite. Everyone says to get outside of your comfort zone, and that’s good in its own way. You want to try new things, have new experiences, and the like so you can find new comforts.

Still, you need some comfort in your life to feel your best. After all, you can’t leave your comfort zone if you don’t have a comfort zone in the first place! 

Whether you need a movie night in with your friends, hot chocolate on a cold night, or a wardrobe full of activewear, make comfort a part of your routine. Your mind and your body will thank you for it.


Comfort | Dictionary 

Protect your brain from stress | Harvard Health 

6 Ways Stress Affects Your Brain | Premier Neurology & Wellness Center 

Comfort Foods Aren't Magic, But Memory Might Be | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine