Although they are part of the human experience, negative emotions can be particularly unpleasant, as we all know. However, scientists insist on the fact that, when well managed, they also play a key function in our well-being by helping us make sense of life’s ups and downs. Some of them can even play an important role in our survival (e.g., fear, anger, or overload) by warning us of a potential threat. Yet, when negative emotions are poorly managed or handled, they can have some rather harmful consequences for both our mental and physical health (chronic stress and distress) which can disrupt our body’s hormone balance, damage our immune system, and drain our brain chemicals necessary for us to experience happiness.
Let’s now take a closer look at some of the most common negative emotions your young person may be experiencing.
They feel DISCOMFORT
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 your young person?
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, help them open up to the possibility of learning something new about themselves from this experience.
- Motivate them to 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.