How to Reduce Uncomfortable Feelings So You Can Think Clearly

reducing uncomfortable feelings

Verywell / Julie Bang

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Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 123

As your emotions go up, your ability to think clearly goes down. That’s why you might say or do things you later regret when you feel angry. And it’s also why you might reach for an unhealthy coping skill to get immediate relief when your anxiety skyrockets.

Uncomfortable emotions, like anxiety, embarrassment, sadness, and anger, can be tough to tolerate. And if we’re not careful, those emotions can lead to poor decisions if we don’t manage them well.

We all have certain things we do to cope with uncomfortable emotions. You might pick up your phone to ward off boredom. Or you might eat when you feel lonely.

Sometimes, the coping skills we use work well in the moment; they reduce the intensity of our feelings. But, those same coping skills can easily introduce bigger problems into our lives.

It’s important to evaluate your coping skills every once in a while and make sure you’re using healthy strategies to deal with uncomfortable emotions.

From drawing to running, there are many healthy ways you can manage your emotions. The goal isn’t to make uncomfortable emotions go away altogether though. The goal is to reduce them enough that you can think clearly. Then, you can make healthier decisions for yourself.

On today’s Friday Fix, I explain how to identify your current coping skills and I outline healthy coping strategies you can start experimenting with.

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, 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.