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Anxiety is incredibly prevalent among disregulated eaters. One of the ways to reduce and eliminate it is to know you’ll be fine no matter what happens. Being fine means you’ll handle whatever comes your way even if it’s not to your liking.
After talking with a client recently about this subject, I began to see where her difficulty lay. Although she wanted to believe that she’d be fine in any situation, she couldn’t bring herself to accept that she could be fine if she were emotionally uncomfortable. And there’s the rub. Many of you simply don’t want to feel badly. You want to be happy, content, find life easy, and have things always go your way. Hey, I can’t say I’d ever turn down any of those possibilities, but none of them will teach you how to be fine no matter what. The only way that will happen is to know you’ll be okay even being in discomfort.
How else will you become confident about being okay in spite of adversity unless you learn it from experience? People can assure us we’ll be fine, but we each must prove it to ourselves. Emotional comfort and discomfort are both part of life and there’s no way to avoid the latter. Think about what you may have learned when life hasn’t gone your way—patience, frustration tolerance, humility, how to tolerate disappointment, how to accept and move beyond failure, and that you are a resilient individual. Discomfort is the only affective state that can teach us how truly remarkable we are and that we have an amazing ability to put life into perspective and keep on truckin’.
However, if every time you think about having adversity, you pair it with not being fine, you’re never going to learn how to develop a more appropriate spin on it, that is, welcoming it as a teaching moment. Emotional discomfort is nothing but information. If you aren’t chose for the lead in a community theatre production, fail to receive a call from a date you enjoyed, don’t get into the school of your choice, or someone you love stops loving you, you will likely be emotionally uncomfortable. Rather than focus on not wanting to feel what you feel, instead, acknowledge your feelings and recognize that you will get through this grit of life and become a stronger person for having done so.
The most important lesson from experiencing discomfort is that you can survive feeling it. That knowledge helps you take risks because you know that you’ve survived before and likely will again. Being fine is a state of mind, not a state of the heart. In fact, your heart may be breaking but you can still know that you will be fine and find your way to happier times. And when you are confident you’ll be fine, there’s no cause for anxiety.
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