Most people dislike feeling uncomfortable. There are many different ways that humans can feel uncomfortable…we can be hot, cold, tired, in pain, hungry, unwell, and the list could go on. The type of discomfort we will be talking about in these modules is emotional discomfort, or what is often called distress. We may not like it, but experiencing uncomfortable emotions is a natural part of life. However, there is a difference between disliking unpleasant emotions and experiencing unpleasant emotions as unbearable and needing to get rid of them. Being intolerant of experiencing emotional discomfort can interfere with living a fulfilling life, and can escalate any emotional discomfort we might be experiencing.
Overcoming Distress Intolerance: This information package is designed to provide you with some information about distress intolerance and suggested strategies for managing distressing or uncomfortable feelings more effectively. This information package is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence. Although it is not necessary that you complete one module before going on to the next, this is recommended. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.
This module defines what is meant by distress intolerance, and provides general information about negative emotions. It considers how our negative beliefs about distress and the methods we use to escape our distress, keep distress intolerance a problem in the long term.
This module highlights the importance of negative emotions to our survival, and that our emotions are not permanent but are ever changing experiences. The module focuses on learning to tolerate distress by accepting our negative emotions, which is a skill one can develop via mindfulness practice.
This module explores ways you can improve your distress, by acting opposite to your urge to escape the distress, and participating in activities that are either activating or soothing. Guidance on how to solve problems that may be causing distress is also addressed.
This final module brings the strategies from this information package together by developing an individualised Distress Tolerance Action Plan. Ways of regularly applying this plan are reviewed, with the aim of developing a sense of emotional wellbeing.
Click the link above to download all modules in this workbook at once, as a zip file.
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