02 Nov. 2021

Where to find motivation? Theory and exercises part II

Constructive Discomfort

When we lack motivation and energy to act, we experience strong discomfort during action. The prospect of experiencing discomfort can discourage us from engaging in activities – we imagine that we will feel fatigue, unpleasant emotions, tension. We prefer to avoid experiencing such states, which is a completely natural reflex.

To better cope with discomfort, we can change our attitude toward it and increase our tolerance for this state. If taking certain actions leads to an important goal for us, the discomfort experienced at that time can be called “constructive.” Many activities we undertake in life are not always “pleasant” – for example, studying, taking care of someone, handling official matters. However, we undertake them because they are related to values important to us or simply allow us to avoid unpleasant consequences.

Discomfort is then a challenge on the way to the goal, a kind of investment. It’s also worth considering whether every discomfort is an unbearable feeling? Will it never pass? Often, we underestimate our ability to endure difficult emotions and tension.

If we want to increase our tolerance for discomfort, we can strengthen it using the following tips:

1. Recall a story of discomfort from your life. How did you survive it?

2. Associate discomfort with pride – did dealing with a particular situation require sacrifices and courage from you?

3. Plan discomfort – unpleasant things that help you reach your goal.

4. Realize that discomfort is temporary or not equally strong all the time. Observe yourself carefully while engaging in activities.

To be continued 🙂

If you need help working on your motivation, seek the assistance of a psychologist. Contact us if you are looking for a cognitive-behavioral psychologist or psychotherapist in Krakow or online. In our offices in Krakow, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is available. We also work in Third Wave approaches (including schema therapy, dialectical-behavioral therapy DBT, acceptance and commitment therapy ACT).

Reading: Robert L. Leahy “Beat the Blues Before They Beat You”

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