How do you measure up on distress tolerance? Distress tolerance is the ability to manage feelings when frustration becomes overwhelming. Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., of Psychology today writes about a new study showing the importance of tolerating distress for borderline personality.

“These sorts of everyday frustrations happen all the time, whether they involve situations out of your control or perhaps your own failures (such as maybe you put the wrong address in on the order). You might not enjoy having lost your cool, but you realize it was a temporary lapse, and apart from feeling a bit embarrassed, don’t let your reaction cause you undue worry.

According to Fordham University’s Christopher Conway and coauthors (2021), the ability to hold on and accept your feelings of frustration is part of a general tendency toward “distress tolerance.” Thus, the issue is not whether you let your anger get the better of you but whether you can even experience the emotion of anger. As counterintuitive as it might seem, your psychological health may actually benefit from getting in touch with your range of feelings, even those that are painful at the moment. You know you’ll return to baseline soon enough after the episode has passed.”

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