Existential Psychology

Handling Intensity

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Sometimes we seek out intensity of our own volition, sometimes it’s forced upon us from the outside, but in both cases we retain the freedom to respond to these intense experiences as we see fit, to rise up to the occasion or wilt under the pressure.

As much as we want things to be easy all the time, intense experiences have their uses, they help mold us and provide the impetus for growth. And actually the free-floating, drifting, stagnating life without any intensity is painful in its own way, as anyone who has been there can attest.

In any event, there’s no way to avoid the intensity that comes from the outside forever unless you live in a box so you’ve got to be prepared for it. The best way to do that is to seek out intensity on your own terms, through channels like difficult physical exercise and challenging intellectual pursuits. Familiarity with the discomfort that accompanies these challenging activities will prepare you for the occasions where you have no say over the level of intensity. Challenge yourself now and you’ll thank yourself later. You’ll be putting all these roots deep into the ground so that when the storm comes you’ll be able to sway back and forth without feeling displaced.