Sometimes Embracing Emotional Distress Is the Best Medicine

Posted on June 8, 2016

Brene Brown, author and researcher at the University of Houston, praises vulnerability, struggle and adversity. She describes hope as something learned from struggle. She speaks not only of learning to live wholeheartedly despite adversity, but living wholeheartedly because of coping with adversity. If we don’t experience anything threatening, we can’t learn that we actually can cope. Or as Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk and revered teacher says, “Without the mud, you cannot grow the lotus flower.”

Many forms of therapy have evolved in this direction. We often think that change needs to come from the inside first. Once we feel better inside, more motivated, or upbeat, we will go for a run. Or once we feel more confident, we will ask a coworker over for dinner. We call this working from the inside-out. However we can also work from the outside in. That is, even if we don’t feel like it and we push ourselves to go for a run, we can feel better and more energetic because we ran. Or because we asked the coworker over for dinner, we now feel more confident after enjoying a fun night of company.

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Category(s):Anxiety, Stress Management

Source material from Scientific American

Mental Health News