How to Be Mentally Strong When You’re Experiencing Uncomfortable Emotions

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Verywell / Julie Bang

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The Verywell Mind Podcast's “Friday Fix” is a short episode that features a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 154

Sometimes, people assume that experiencing an uncomfortable emotion, like sadness or anxiety, is a sign of weakness. That’s not true.

In fact, allowing yourself to fully experience an uncomfortable emotion is a sign of strength, not weakness. It’s easier to push your feelings aside or pretend they don’t exist, rather than work through them. 

There are lots of ways to work through tough feelings—some are healthier than others. Understanding how to work through emotions and when to shift your emotional state is key to mental strength.

You can’t control all the things in your environment that may cause your anxiety to spike or that may cause you to experience sadness. But, you can control how you respond to those things. 

There are many things you can do to take care of yourself when you’re dealing with difficult feelings. Developing a better understanding of yourself and your emotions can allow you to embrace your feelings when it’s helpful to do so and shift your emotional state when those feelings are trying to keep you stuck in a place of pain.

On today’s episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, I share how to stay mentally strong when you’re experiencing uncomfortable feelings. I explain how to recognize the difference between thoughts, feelings, and behavior (something people often get confused in my therapy office) and how to manage painful feelings in a healthy way.

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Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you.

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.