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Dealing With Frustration - Practical Information

Aug 17, 2007
You've felt it before, right? Frustration. It's different for everyone, but we have all experienced it - its irritation, that feeling, making you want to pull your hair out, scream out loud, or throw things. It comes up sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly building. Frustration has many forms and varying degrees to it but no matter what degree or form it takes, it is not a positive emotion.

As a negative emotion frustration does nothing but cause stress, make it harder to focus and harder to complete tasks. To help remove frustration, it's important for you to know what causes frustration and have a plan for getting rid of it.

Causes of Frustration

Just about anything can be a cause of frustration - a project at work, getting stuck in traffic when you're late, or having guests over and dinner not all coming out on time. No matter the situation, if you feel like you're running around in a circle, that's frustration. No matter what form your frustration takes, it will reach a point where you can no longer handle the situation or the emotion.

When that happens, there's usually a point when you quit, give up, walk away and are left with the feelings that doing such a thing causes - regret, self-loathing, or self-recrimination. That means the next time a similar situation comes around, it doesn't take nearly as much going wrong to cause your frustration as it did the first time around. That is definitely something you want to avoid. So what can you do to help over come your frustrations before they reach the point of no return and cause you to quit?

What you can do to overcome frustration - Specific steps

The first thing to do when you start feeling frustrated is to take a deep breath, and relax. Do whatever you need to relieve the stress. Meditate if that helps, or watch a favorite TV show, or perhaps listen to some relaxing music. Whatever you do, make sure you step back from the situation causing your frustration. Once you have calmed down, take a look at the situation objectively, pull out the parts that you know are working. This way, you can see past the parts that are causing your frustration and take a really close look at the whole picture. This will also help you to see possible connections that can lead to resolving your frustration.

Keep a log, or a journal, or online blog and list the positive things in your life. List your accomplishments. Did you finish a hard project for school, or work? Did you finally get that wall painted or that part of the closet cleaned out? Write it down and check it after a month. It's a lot easier to get rid of frustration when you can see all the positives instead of the negatives. It might also show you where you need to focus more in your life. Wasted energy is a surefire way to make yourself frustrated.

Once you see where you are wasting energy, focus on what you want to accomplish, the ultimate goal of whatever project or situation is causing the frustration for you. Step back to get a clear picture and then ask what you need to change to make sure that the same situation doesn't arise again. Ask yourself what you can do to prevent that frustration.

It's very easy with any project to get wrapped up in it. So much so that you can no longer see the project itself and sometimes even lose sight of the part of it you're actually working on, and nothing is more frustrating than that. Get rid of the clutter, step back to the most simplified form. Be aware there are multiple solutions to any problem. Being more open to other ways of solving a problem is a good way to keep frustration from entering into the situation.

When you get ready to quit because you just can't take it anymore, when the frustration is at its peak, take action and refuse to give up by pushing through and you'll gain back control. Be positive. Nothing is harder to do when you're frustrated, but without keeping in mind the positive outcome you're looking for, frustration will just control the situation.

No matter what situation you're in, follow these basic steps to get rid of your frustration and make sure frustration doesn't come back.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of my-personal-growth.com, a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.
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