Override Unpleasant Feelings

by Rachel Miller

August 31, 2021

ABOVE :Andrian Valeanu

You will still feel down, dismayed, and discouraged, sometimes. That’s inevitable. The goal isn’t to eliminate unpleasant feelings, but to take advantage of them. To use them as an opportunity to create a new, better experience for yourself. To change your experience from unpleasant to enjoyable.


  • What is more rewarding, discouragement or intrigue? What is more effective to make you happy? What gives you the motivation and energy to keep going in the face of doubt? Unpleasant feelings are deterring. But positive feelings, positive experiences, are energizing–they’re interesting! They keep you coming back for more.

  • Thinking positively alone, doesn’t work. It’s not about avoiding the unwanted emotions or pretending they aren’t there. But rather, walking closer to them, approaching with curiousity. Thinking, Interesting! Where did this come from?

  • Here’s your opportunity to create a new experience for yourself. Here’s your opportunity for a stange mind-adventure. A challenge to venture forth.

  • It’s not only more effective, but it’s more interesting this way. To become curious rather than dismayed. And it works! Your curiosity and interest effectively override any unpleasant feeling. Your curiosity becomes the dominant emotion. The dominant experience. Next thing you know, you’ve created a whole new experience for yourself. Something mildly, strangely enjoyable.

Create a new experience:

  • Notice the cue (unpleasant feeling): Notice the onset of low mood, discouragement, frustration, or anxiety as it arises.
  • Become curious of the experience: Interesting! Why am I feeling this way? What can I learn from this?
  • Experience the reward: Intrigue, renewed energy, weird-fun, a shift from low mood to neutral or positive mood.

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