Learn to Deal With Frustration Without Losing Your Mind

We’ve all been there. You’re more than a little bothered that things aren’t going your way. Maybe they only have one checkout line open at the grocery store, or you’re steamed that you can’t seem to sink a putt from outside of two feet. Perhaps you’re maddeningly close to achieving a goal but you can’t quite get there.

It almost seems like people and life are conspiring to test our ability to deal with frustration. It’s enough to make you feel like you might lose your mind.

Keep your sanity and tame your frustration with these strategies:

  1. Ask yourself why you’re frustrated. In general, frustration is not getting what you want. What are you trying to accomplish or what is it that you want from someone else?
    • The first step is to notice that you’re frustrated.
    • The second step is to figure out why.
  2. Take a break. If your frustration is getting the best of you, it can be helpful to take a break and disengage for a while. Find something to do that you enjoy and find distracting. A good movie or lunch with a friend can be an effective option.
    • Make a list of 10 ways you can spend a short or long break.
  3. Do something physical. Exercise can give you a new perspective and is also a great way to burn up any excess energy you may have. Go out for a quick run or do some calisthenics. Use your muscles and get your heart pumping. Hitting a punching bag might be therapeutic under the circumstances.
  4. Figure out what’s standing in your way. What is the obstacle? Is it a lack of skill on your part? Are you waiting for someone else to do something? Is it even something you can control? If something is beyond your control, why work yourself into a frenzy?
    • If there’s something you can do to manage the obstacle, do it.
  5. Work on your attitude. A positive attitude can help. A frustrated and annoyed attitude never helped anything. Address your attitude and adopt an attitude that will help the situation. A poor attitude is likely to create more challenges than it solves.
  6. Make a plan. Maybe you need a new approach. Think about a better way to achieve your objective. What can you do better or differently? Come up with a plan and execute it. If that doesn’t work, make a new plan and try that. Keep going until you’ve succeeded.
  7. Relax. It might be the perfect time for a little deep breathing, yoga, or meditation. Maybe a little easy-listening music is in order. Spend regular time doing an activity that relaxes and calms you.
  8. Frustration can be a positive sign. There’s an upside to frustration. It means that you think you should be doing something differently.
    • The trick is to use your frustration to fuel your efforts rather than using it as an excuse to give up.

Frustration can drive you mad if you let it. Examine your feelings and determine if there’s a solution you can implement. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about a frustrating situation. In that case, the best you can do is to manage your emotional state.

When a solution exists, calm yourself and put your solution into action. Relaxation techniques can be a big help.

Also, frustration can be a positive sign that you’re about to make a breakthrough, so bear with it, get past it, and see what’s waiting on the other side for you!

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