I get so frustrated with life at times. Sometimes we feel as though everything is running smoothly and sometimes we have to deal with frustration that seems to pop up in all areas of our lives. Learning to manage our frustrations and manage anger are important skills to have, both in your personal life and at work.
What is frustration?
According to the dictionary, frustration is the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something or the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfilment of something.
That’s pretty serious – because as human beings we all want to progress, to proceed and to have our goals fulfilled. When we are stuck, when our goals tend to stop progressing – we can feel disheartened, disillusioned and irritated. Somethings are simply out of our control. When we are frustrated, we are generally not very happy or experiencing any peace.
When frustrated with life, what causes feelings of frustration?
According to Psychologist Anywhere Any time, “Frustration is not necessarily bad since it can be a useful indicator of the problems in a person’s life and, as a result, it can act as a motivator to change.”
In many ways, it can be a highly positive emotion as it can spur us on to do our best. However, “when it results in anger, irritability, stress, resentment, depression, or a spiral downward where we have a feeling of resignation or giving up, frustration can be destructive.”
What does frustration feel like?
A few of the usual and most experienced responses to frustration might be “burn out” or quitting, anger, loss of self-esteem, damage to our self-confidence, feelings of stress and even occasionally feelings of depression.
Sadly we often try to cope with these feelings in negative ways, “Abuse of drugs or alcohol is self-destructive and usually futile attempt at dealing with frustration, as are many eating and weight problems and addictive behaviours,” says psychologist Dr Vince Berger.
4 ways to cope when you feel frustrated with life
#1: Focus on what you want to happen
A little more complex than simply “positive thinking”, try to focus your attention on what you would ideally like to happen, and give it space to happen. Often when the cloud of frustration is lifted, we can see things from a different, clearer perspective.
“Try not to ask yourself, “Why did this happen?” Asking questions like that will keep you rooted in the past. It doesn’t offer a solution to the problem,” says Life With Confidence. Ask yourself what you want to happen and what you’d need to do differently to make this happen this way.
#2: Ask, “Where is this going?”
Put yourself back in the driver’s seat and take charge of your frustrations. Own them. Too often when we are frustrated with life, we give up. “Life is a process. Trust it. The day-to-day, hour-to-hour happenings taking place in your life may appear completely unrelated on the surface, but in truth, there is an orchestrated, interlocking chain of events occurring,” says Donna Labermeier of The Huffington Post.
“The human in us always wants to know what is going on and why, but we don’t always need to know!” Learn when to try to control the situation and when to sit back and let events unfold on their own.
#3: Focus on a specific issue, don’t group all problems together
I have previously posted about the “Bubble Theory” in my post Social media causing depression? Stop feeling sad by using the Bubble Theory. Think of your problems like issues floating in a bunch of bubbles. Each bubble is a separate issue: work is one bubble, relationships are another bubble, and finances are another bubble again. When frustrated with life – use this theory.
We tend to lump all of our problems in the one category and we can feel overwhelmed. Split them up into separate bubbles and deal with them one at a time.
#4: Focus on your breathing and your surroundings
The Positivity Blog says, “Sit down, close your eyes and just focus on the air going and out of your nose for 1-2 minutes. Take calm and slightly deeper breaths than usual and breathe with your belly and not your chest.”
Also, take a few moments to focus on what is around you. Feel the temperature, listen to the sounds, look internally and witness your own emotions and feelings. Check for any tightness in your chest, feel your heartbeat. Notice if you feel hot or cold and return to the present time. This too shall pass. If you’re frustrated with life, get on with things.
The experts talk about frustration
“You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”
Ralph Marston, motivational speaker
“I feel like you get more bees with honey. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated in my life. My way of dealing with frustration is to shut down and to think and speak logically.”
Beyonce Knowles, singer and actress
“Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.”
Bo Bennett, entrepreneur