Getting Comfortable with being Uncomfortable

Nobody likes dealing with unpleasant feelings but living a fulfilling life means experiencing all the highs and the lows that come with it.

Some negative feelings actually serve a useful purpose. For example, fear protects us from danger, anger motivates us to protect ourselves from injustice, and sadness reminds us about the things in life we really care about. However, sometimes negative emotions become unhelpful.

It is common to have difficulty dealing with strong negative emotions. If this applies to you, you can learn to get more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

The process involves numerous steps. First, slowing down and recognising what’s going on in our thoughts through mindfulness. Then, learning to both accept emotions and apply new ways to deal with our discomfort. Finally, deciding what’s really important to us in life and consciously pursuing this, despite our discomfort, often paradoxically reduces the uncomfortable feelings as a consequence.

To learn more, see a psychologist or psychological GP. The Centre for Clinical Interventions also offers an excellent free four-module self-help course to teach these skills.


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