5 Effective Ways to Deal with Your Frustrations

5 Effective Ways to Deal with Your Frustrations
Image by Gerd Altmann

Your wife attacks her plate of food like a starving hyena, complete with slurps and growls. That slowpoke driver in front of you won't move out of the fast lane — and you're nearly late for work. Your son refuses to make his bed, even though it would take him less than one minute. Grrrr!

We all experience everyday annoyances like these. What transforms an irksome situation or event into frustration? It's our expectations, our "shoulds" that cause aggravation. Your wife should have an awareness about her eating habits. Drivers should be considerate of other drivers' needs. Your son should learn how to develop tidy habits.

But if we dig deeper, the underlying emotion behind our frustration is anger. And that unexpressed anger has a way of coming out in distorted ways — frustration — with expressions of disgust, with road rage, and with a short temper around loved ones. 

So rather than continuing to stew and fume, here are five simple but effective techniques for dealing with frustration. 

1. Express your anger constructively.

Emotions are just pure sensations in our bodies. Emotion = E (energy) + motion. Expressing anger entails releasing that pent-up emotional energy in a safe place and a constructive way. Kick leaves in your yard, stomp through the house when no one is home, push against a doorjamb, or scream and shout into a pillow. If you use words, yell something like, "I feel SO frustrated!"

Actions such as these move the energy out of your body. Do it hard, fast and with abandon, and notice how afterwards you instantly feel calm and relieved.

2. Accept that you're not in control. 

Accept what is. The best way to do this is to remind yourself, over and over, that: People and things are the way they are, not the way you want them to be. It's even more powerful if you repeat it to yourself out loud. You can also say, "This is the way it is." So, "My husband is a loud eater — this is the way he is. My daughter will make her bed when she's ready to, not because I want her to. This is the way it is." After repeating these words for a few minutes, they became a fact, instead of a big deal. 

3. Don't react, but do act.

Acceptance of "what is" doesn't mean being passive. First accept, and then figure out what, if anything, you need to do about the situation. It's important to honor yourself. Perhaps it's best if you say nothing. Or maybe you decide it's best for everyone concerned if you take a stand and initiate a discussion.

You might decide, for example, that you and the daughter need to talk and agree on some reasonable consequences when she doesn't make her bed. Make sure the conversation is about what's true for you, and not laced with finger-pointing, name calling, and generalizations about the other person's character.

4. Practice letting go and enjoying what is. 

When it's appropriate, take the path of least resistance, even though in your perfect world, you'd do it differently. Remind yourself of the larger perspective. If your husband weren't around, you'd miss having meals with him. Getting to work 10 minutes later, relaxed and ready to go, isn't a bad way to start the day. In fact, as long as you're tardy, you might as well stop for a box of bagels to share with your coworkers as a peace offering. And an unmade bed never really hurt anyone. Close your daughter's bedroom door so you can walk past it with a smile and shake of your head.

5. Appreciate the benefits.

Rather than believing the world should conform to our view, we have the ability to focus on other things, such as counting our blessings, enjoying the beautiful day, or marveling at what wonderful people we have in our lives. If you defuse frustration, you'll enjoy more positive thinking and feel more loving and lighthearted. You'll suspend your unrealistic expectations of others, which sets the stage for better communication and more meaningful conversations and connections.

And What About You?

Want to find out which destructive attitudes and emotions dominate your character? Take a quick survey here, then try the suggested strategies designed to address them.

©2019 by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
All Rights Reserved.

Book by this Author

Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.

Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.With practical tools, real-life examples, and everyday solutions for thirty-three destructive attitudes, Attitude Reconstruction can help you stop settling for sadness, anger, and fear, and infuse your life with love, peace, and joy.

click to order on amazon

 

 

About the Author

Jude BijouJude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT), an educator in Santa Barbara, California and the author of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life. In 1982, Jude launched a private psychotherapy practice and started working with individuals, couples, and groups. She also began teaching communication courses through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education. Visit her website at AttitudeReconstruction.com/

* Watch an interview with Jude Bijou: How to Experience More Joy, Love and Peace

Related Video

More books on this topic

{amazonWS:searchindex=Books;keywords=attitude;maxresults=3}

Sorry, there has been a problem fetching the results. You can try refreshing the page. Reload this page
enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeiwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptruesswsvthtrukurvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}

LATEST VIDEOS

To Reach Zero Emissions Government Must Address Hurdles Putting People Off Electric Cars
To Reach Zero Emissions Government Must Address Hurdles Putting People Off Electric Cars
by Swapnesh Masrani
Ambitious targets have been set by the UK and Scottish governments to become net-zero carbon economies by 2050 and 2045…
Spring Is Arriving Earlier Across The US, And That's Not Always Good News
Spring Is Arriving Earlier Across The US, And That's Not Always Good News
by Theresa Crimmins
Across much of the United States, a warming climate has advanced the arrival of spring. This year is no exception.
The Last Ice Age Tells Us Why We Need To Care About A 2℃ Change In Temperature
The Last Ice Age Tells Us Why We Need To Care About A 2℃ Change In Temperature
by Alan N Williams, et al
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that without a substantial decrease…
A Georgia Town Gets Half Of Its Electricity From President Jimmy Carter's Solar Farm
A Georgia Town Gets Half Of Its Electricity From President Jimmy Carter's Solar Farm
by Johnna Crider
Plains, Georgia, is a small town that is just south of Columbus, Macon, and Atlanta and north of Albany. It is the…
Majority of US Adults Believe Climate Change Is Most Important Issue Today
by American Psychological Association
As the effects of climate change become more evident, more than half of U.S. adults (56%) say climate change is the…
How These Three Financial Firms Could Change The Direction Of The Climate Crisis
How These Three Financial Firms Could Change The Direction Of The Climate Crisis
by Mangulina Jan Fichtner, et al
A silent revolution is happening in investing. It is a paradigm shift that will have a profound impact on corporations,…
Investing In Climate Change
by Goldman Sachs
“Top of Mind at Goldman Sachs” Podcast – In this episode, we dig into what may be the most important issue of our time:…
Climate Change: Briefings from Southern Africa
by SABC Digital News
Climate change affects us all, but it can be a confusing business. Three leading South African scientists who have…

LATEST ARTICLES

A Second Us Dust Bowl Would Hit World Food Stocks
A Second Us Dust Bowl Would Hit World Food Stocks
by Tim Radford
When the US Great Plains are hit again by sustained drought, the world’s food stocks will feel the heat.
Rising Seas: To Keep Humans Safe, Let Nature Shape The Coast
Rising Seas: To Keep Humans Safe, Let Nature Shape The Coast
by Iris Möller
Even under the most conservative climate change scenarios, sea levels 30cm higher than at present seem all but certain…
To Reach Zero Emissions Government Must Address Hurdles Putting People Off Electric Cars
To Reach Zero Emissions Government Must Address Hurdles Putting People Off Electric Cars
by Swapnesh Masrani
Ambitious targets have been set by the UK and Scottish governments to become net-zero carbon economies by 2050 and 2045…
Huge Ecosystems Could Collapse In Less Than 50 Years
Huge Ecosystems Could Collapse In Less Than 50 Years
by John Dearing et al
We know that ecosystems under stress can reach a point where they rapidly collapse into something very different.
India Finally Takes Climate Crisis Seriously
India Finally Takes Climate Crisis Seriously
by Nivedita Khandekar
With financial losses and a heavy death toll from climate-related disasters constantly rising, India is at last…
We Climate Scientists Won't Know Exactly How The Crisis Will Unfold Until It’s Too Late
We Climate Scientists Won't Know Exactly How The Crisis Will Unfold Until It’s Too Late
by Wolfgang Knorr and Will Steffen
When we hold on to things for too long, change can come about abruptly and even catastrophically.
How We Must Fight Climate Change Like It's World War III
How We Must Fight Climate Change Like It's World War III
by David Blair et al
In 1896 Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius explored whether Earth’s temperatures were influenced by the presence of…
How British Wildlife Greeted The Warmest Winter On Record
How British Wildlife Greeted The Warmest Winter On Record
by Paul Ashton
Written on the final, frozen day of 1900, Thomas Hardy’s poem The Darkling Thrush describes a harsh, ice-blasted…