Frustration is a normal reaction to being hurt, threatened, or unable to fulfill current needs. It's how we express our frustration that can cause additional stress in our own lives and the lives of others. We all get frustrated from time to time, but we need to express it constructively and effectively; otherwise, we may hurt those we love the most. Most often, the way we deal with frustration is formed at a very young age. For example, we may mirror our parent's reaction, or we may respond in the way we were conditioned because of our life experiences.
If the typical way you handle frustration causes problems in your life, then it's time to change how you think and react to frustrating situations. Unhealthy methods of processing frustration can lead to health problems and even inhibit our relationships with others. Many people respond to frustration by getting angry, giving up, or indulging in other self-destructive behaviors such as abuse of food, alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes. Read on for some tips to help you overcome frustration.
1Establish Mutual Respect
You should have mutual respect for all people involved. Respect even those with differing opinions than your own. Everyone is entitled to his or her own voice, and you'll waste precious time if you're frustrated by every differing opinion.
2Have A Clear Self-Awareness
Have a clear awareness of your needs, thoughts, and feelings. Discover who you are as a person. Do not mimic someone else's opinions and ideas.
3Know Your Needs
Learn the difference between surface and primary needs. In other words, is this frustration about one of your basic needs not being met, or is it merely due to a less significant, secondary need? What's preventing you from getting this need?
4Know What You Can And Cannot Control
Everyone has their limits. Some causes of frustration are beyond your control; therefore, there's no purpose in wasting energy on them. Instead, use that energy to cope with the situation and move on.
5Try To Communicate Constructively
Communicate your boundaries and needs calmly and respectfully without guilt or shame. This should not involve raising your voice or swearing. Instead, learn to speak up, so your personal needs are met.
6Avoid Feeling Responsible For Others
Everyone has his or her own free will, and you can't force someone to do something. They make their own decisions, and a reasonable adult will take responsibility for their actions. Remember that only you can control your actions, and no one can make you do something against your will.
7Determine The Cause
By identifying the cause of your hurt or frustration without placing blame, you'll loosen the grips of frustration. Knowing the root cause can help you reflect on what went wrong. Determining the cause will also help you think clearly for a solution.
8Frustration Isn't Always A Bad Thing
Sometimes, frustration can serve as a motivator to change if certain problems in your life are keeping you from reaching your goals. Regularly evaluate if you're on track to meet your life goals. Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? Sometimes, you need to create a new goal and make some life changes to reduce your frustration and make your goal become a reality.
9Accept The Reality
When frustration is aimed at a circumstance beyond our control, it's time to learn to accept the realities of life. Learning to take things in stride will make you a happier and more content person. When the frustrating situation is something you can't control, such as getting stuck in traffic, practicing relaxation and deep-breathing techniques can be effective.
Frustration can turn a normally peaceful person into an irrational, angry one. If you allow it, frustration can hinder your progress and immobilize you. The goals you're trying to attain will all of a sudden be out of reach. Remember that, while you can't eliminate frustration from your life, you can manage how you let it affect you.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."