Distress Intolerance Exercise

The first step in solving a problem is understanding it. So, let’s take this exercise to understand how we deal with negative emotions:

1.For some people, distress intolerance might be broad – that is they might be distressed by any negative emotion even small things and for others it might be limited to severe negative emotions. To understand where you are on this spectrum, ask yourself what kind of negative emotions you find difficult to deal with. How severe do they have to be to cause distress?

2. Do you experience any of the distress intolerant beliefs described here (or its close cousins)? If so, which are the ones relevant to you? Now ask yourself these questions:

  • What does it mean to me when I experience uncomfortable emotions?
  • What will happen if I let myself go through these uncomfortable emotions?

  • What should I do when I experience these emotions?

3. What do I typically do when I experience uncomfortable emotions?

The important thing in this module is to recognize your intolerant beliefs and escape methods you use. We can take it one step at a time. In tomorrow’s module, we will see how to handle uncomfortable emotions.