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Why frustration?

Today is Monday.

Bejing is enduring a nine day traffic jam.

It’s summer and really hot- tempers flare.

The point is, it’s easy to become frustrated. Frustration is the anger we feel when we can’t seem to reach our goal (or destination), despite our efforts. Everyone gets frustrated, and frustration can escalate to alarming levels- it’s true. Then we have all the stress, anxiety, cortisol, and health issues people like to talk about.

So, how do we deal with frustration? Here are some helpful tips to help deal with frustration.

Breathe. Breathe in through your nose slowly and then exhale through your mouth slowly. This increases oxygen and slows your heart, tricking your body into relaxing.

Think. Ask yourself if this obstacle is overcome-able. Is this a crisis? Is the world going to end? Exactly how big is the problem? Toning your frustration down to the actual size of the problem is helpful.

Problem-solve. So your current method or solution isn’t working. That’s okay. You aren’t a failure; your solution probably worked at another time. This time you just need something different. Brainstorm or ask for advice or ideas from other people. It only adds options and increases your chance of success.

Assess your worry. Is the problem not solvable? Controllable? Occasionally, that happens. We cannot change time, the past, or sometimes the behaviors or beliefs of others. If the problem is not controllable or you are not in a position to fix it, that’s okay, too. Find something you can do, and do that. Focus on action instead of the obstacle.

Recognize your successes. How have you gotten through problems before? What did you learn? How have they helped you become more competent?

Remember: People who never struggle in any way never learn or grow. It is through overcoming our obstacles and frustrations that we actually get to feel our own competence, resourcefulness, and abilities.


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