How To Work With Unpleasant Feelings and Stop Suffering Now

by Ken Malloy

In dealing with your feelings, let’s talk about the good, the bad and the ugly.

Odds are, you think of pleasant feelings as good, and unpleasant feelings as bad. This is  something you’ve learned. As a human being, you’re conditioned to feel this way, so this pattern lives on as a construct in your head. That is, until you take a good look and see it for what it is: a belief, not a truth. Before that, pleasant means good – unpleasant means bad.

Now, there’s nothing horribly wrong with this. However, the notion of  ‘bad’ sets up a whole pattern of responses. Here’s where you’re probably going to condemn, deny, and resist your feelings– fighting with something that comes from inside you. Since we know that what you resist – persists, you’re creating a whole lot of suffering on top of an uncomfortable experience, such as pain. And, somehow your mind thinks this strategy is useful and helpful. But it never is, right?

So, what is another possibility? What else can you do?

Well, what if you can look at these feelings –  all of your feelings,  just for what they are?

For years, I hated cloudy days. I’d miss the beautiful blue sky – the sunshine on my face. A sky filled with clouds left me feeling heavy, unmotivated – maybe a little depressed. It was like the cloud cover meant it was always just about to rain and that would really ruin my day!  “If only the sun would come out!” Cloudy days were never good!

That is, until I became a video producer, and learned what a complete and total  blessing cloud cover was for an outdoor shoot. Clouds create soft, even light over everything. It’s nature’s diffusion! With no shadows to deal with I didn’t need to set up filters, bounce cards or extra lights.

My days as a video producer are pretty much over, so I don’t do outdoor shoots anymore. However, what I find really interesting is: I’ve been out of the production business for over fifteen years now… and I continue to think of cloudy days as a good thing!

An experience that was– for most of my life– followed by unpleasant feelings of heaviness and nagging discomfort, is now associated with deep relaxation and relief . Now, I connect cloudy days with the warm memory of knowing that I’ll be getting though my day’s work with less effort and more fun – with every shot basically pre-lit for me. And, it’s never a real shoot day anymore! I don’t need a camera crew and shot list to enjoy the cloudy day. It just happens.

When you find ways to reframe your unpleasant thoughts and feelings, you make great strides to free yourself from them.  However, this isn’t what most people do! Usually it’s more like: “I feel sad, there must something wrong with me.”

You have an intense unpleasant feeling or thought, and then you make a conclusion you make about yourself. You live the feeling as a truth, rather than just a feeling. This isn’t helpful, and it can make you suffer needlessly.

What if you could go back to just the feeling?  What if you could feel the feeling without the story? What would that be like?

To be able to say: “I feel sad”…  and just feel the sadness. In that moment, with enough self-awareness, you might be able to notice your mind’s attempt to attach the feeling to something. Just notice that attempt, and just feel what you’re feeling.

As you notice your mind’s tendency to attach to anything it can find, you can make room for this not to happen. By witnessing your thoughts and letting them pass– like fluffy clouds on bright blue sky –  you’ll be able to just feel the feeling… alone… by itself.

What if you were to call me on the phone and say: “Ken, I’m in horrible pain and I’m having some really intense unpleasant feelings about this pain. I need a connection to this. I want you to understand what I’m going though. I need to be heard!”

I’ll answer: “Yes, I get it! It’s hard. Pain brings up a lot of intense feelings. And, I can give you a connection for that.”

Now, we can deal with those feelings. That is, I can help you make room for the feelings –  help you to directly and deeply live into the experience of what you’re feeling, no matter how uncomfortable and unpleasant that may be.

This is something you can do for yourself, but you may need support, guidance and encouragement at first… with the ability to identify these feelings and articulate them.

Just on the other side of this process is where pain-free lives: not only getting rid of your pain and getting back to the life you miss so much, but to a deeper sense of yourself and a greater experience of feeling alive.

If you want more information on how I can guide and help you to do this for yourself  visit my coaching website at : Or, you can contact me directly with question or comments by email