Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

What is it?

It’s a sort of feeling or thought that something is not quite right, it feels off and just doesn’t feel good mentally or physically. It makes them feel unsettled and wanting to make it go away, one way or the other. It’s unpleasant but it’s usually not intense.

What is the feeling of discomfort telling them?

Discomfort can be telling them something about how they are reacting to their present situation or thought process. It’s asking them to pay attention to what they are really feeling uncomfortable about. Is it boredom, embarrassment, or impatience?

Suggestions for your young person on how to manage discomfort?
  •  Recognize it, acknowledge it, and name it.
  • Rather than to avoid it or ignore it, they could open up to the possibility of learning something new about themselves from this experience.
  • Embrace the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone. If they are able to feel comfortable with feeling discomfort, then they can achieve almost anything.
  • Help them learn to let go of their expectations.
  • Ask them to try and identify where the discomfort is coming from and attempt to dissolve it by changing the situation or behavior, especially if it is discomfort stemming from a negative situation.