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Facing discomfort

No one likes uncomfortable feelings such as hurt, pain, fear, loneliness, sadness, anger or depression. I have not heard anyone say I want to be depressed or I want to feel anxious. Yet many people have these feelings. Being human means you will have feelings and your feelings are important. Our environments and society as a whole have trained individuals not to discuss feelings. If someone asks how you are doing many times you may say ok. You may discuss different events that may be going on, and not even share how you feel regarding the events, losses, or changes. When there is a conflict situation you may not share how you truly feel out of fear of creating more conflict or hurting the other person's feelings.

In our own minds we tell ourselves to ignore certain feelings or act as if they aren't present. We tell ourselves our feelings don't matter all that matters are the feelings of other. We tell ourselves our feelings don't matter as long as things are getting done. The old anecdotes "Just get over it" and "Just move on", or a loosely veiled attempt to pray it away, allow us to package away our emotions instead of actually dealing with them.

As a result we tend to avoid these feelings or do things to suppress these feelings such as stuffing feelings, impulsive or harmful behavior, and over indulging. With stuffing our feelings we start to build resentment and guilt. With impulsive behaviors we create other problems for ourselves ie financial, legal, physical or more emotional problems. We use drugs, alcohol and risky sexual behaviors to numb our feelings. We find ourselves over indulging in food, sex and sleep to avoid feelings as well. Unattended, emotions of discomfort can lead to increased mental and physical side effects.

How do we face uncomfortable feelings?

First, recognize what you are feeling, Then, we must accept these uncomfortable feelings, and allow ourselves to feel and face them head on. With time they will pass. Now this isn’t an easy task at all. There is also a chance we may go back to the negative ways of avoiding these feelings. Recognize you do have the strength and ability to let it pass. Share you feelings openly and honestly with people you trust. with these people come up with a plan to continue to be open and honest.

If it's a person that is triggering these feelings, evaluate the relationship.

If it is a job that is triggering these emotions, contemplate alternative employment.

If it's a situation that continues to create discomfort identify if there is a way around it or to change it. But always face your feelings. Don't minimize the importance of your feelings. If the feelings become too overwhelming, allow yourself time to relax and figure out appropriate ways to express them that aren't harmful to yourself or others. Continuous relaxation techniques, social interactions, and some positive distractions will also help. Seeking therapy from an objective trained professional or even journaling your emotions, will all you to properly unpack and process your feelings of discomfort and angst.

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