In the Enclave we agree that distress is a negative form of stress.

The Happiness Factor

We started talking about the role of happiness in distress. 

WTH is happiness anyway? We tried to define it more as contentment, and less as joy. 

Talked a little about the cultural expectation of "happily ever after." This certainly has an affect on how we perceive our own level of happiness.

Does lack of happiness cause distress, or is it more about perception?

Sometimes we recognize that we aren't happy, or we are experiencing negative emotions, and that realization causes us distress.

We know**** when we don't like how THIS feels. Right now. But we can't always define where the distress is coming from. 

How we perceive distress/negative emotion

Often when we feel distressed, we also feel it must be our fault. 

We live in a world where we value individualism, making it work, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. So we don't reward connection, or requests for connection.

Lack of community increases distress, and negative emotions.

Historically, nomadic tribes raised children and took care of each other. Now we raise children alone, work from home, and only see others humans a few times per week.

We no longer have a village.

We interpret discomfort and distress in negative ways. 

ADHD and distress tolerance

It definitely seems that the emotional dysregulation of ADHD makes distress tolerance harder for us.  Treating the ADHD goes a loooong way toward opening that Window of Tolerance.

Some of us grew up in environments where we did not have great modeling for emotional management. So we have to work on it, and we have to be ok with making mistakes.

If we ignore emotional distress, or avoid it we all agree there are negative implications - physical health, long-term mental health, and even interpersonal relationships. 

Ended by discussing some ways to process distress:

  • exercise

  • getting out in nature, sunlight, fresh air

  • remembering to breathe, meditate if that's your thing

  • snuggling with pets/animals

  • changing locations

  • therapy

  • human connection and physical touch