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How can I learn to feel comfortable with uncomfortable feelings?

Karen R Koenig
Psychology

Paradoxically, the hardest part of change is exactly what you need to do for it to happen: experience uncomfortable feelings. If you’re not willing to do that (or at least give it the old college try), you might as well set the book Nice Girls Finish Fat aside. My suggestion is to think about your ability to tolerate painful emotions and then either work on improving it on your own or find a therapist to help you. If you’ve had trauma in your life, I would definitely go the therapist route. If you haven’t experienced trauma, you might be able to keep stretching yourself gradually to tolerate more and more intense discomfort.

In order to change we need awareness and discomfort. Unfortunately, when feelings get too strong, we generally tune out, often with food. As you can see, not eating emotionally will provide opportunities for you to feel your feelings, so long as you don’t rush off to silence them some other way. To be an emotionally healthy person, which includes knowing when to play the nice card and when not to, you need to stay in touch with feelings. This is not optional work. It is a must. It will not happen overnight, but it is definitely doable over time with reflection, self-focus, curiosity, and self-compassion. Through having confidence in your ability to know yourself, you’ll develop self-trust and get in better balance. It all fits together so, well, nicely, doesn’t it?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.