What is frustration and what can I do about it?
Who is that person that takes over your mind and body when your buttons have been pressed and you feel completely frustrated?
You know what I’m talking about. That if you had a mirror in front of you when you were speaking (or ranting) , in one of those frustrated moments, you wouldn’t recognise yourself!
“Is that me? Was that me? That’s not me!”
Where does that overwhelming feeling of not being able to cope, of being so frustrated and angry that you don’t know where to turn, come from? Why is it that someone or something can trigger something in you and this frustration monster appears?
The problem is, you weren’t given a roadmap of how to manage your emotions or any knowledge of the buttons that when pressed cause a fire cracker to go off. And where do you get this patience stuff and how much do you need? There can been times when this overwhelming frustration can come from nowhere and you feel like you have been railroaded. You end up on a big freight train of emotional frustration and can’t get off. Does this ever happen for you?
Why do you get frustrated and why do outside circumstances trigger it?
Frustration is an emotion that is very closely linked with anger. If you observe your body when you are frustrated, what happens? That’s right, you clench your body, tense your jaw and hold your breath. What is going on for you in that moment is that you are holding back from saying something, or you feel like something is out of your control (feeling of powerlessness). Basically you don’t like what’s happening. Does this ring true for you?
It might be worth checking in with yourself now and taking yourself back to a moment when you were frustrated. Notice what was happening for you in your mind and body. What thoughts were you having? What did you want to say? Having an understanding of how your body and your mind react when you are frustrated is the 1st step in learning to let it go. I’m not asking you to prevent yourself from being frustrated here, I’m asking you to get a sense of awareness and understanding of what it feels like for you.
Start to notice when you get the most frustrated in your workplace and at home. What is it that really pushes your buttons? Think about that right now. What is it that gets you to 11/10 on the frustration scale? It may be something really simple like someone not cleaning up after themselves, somebody complaining, people not listening.
The next step is to catch yourself in the moment.
That’s right. When you feel yourself getting frustrated, notice what goes on for you and be aware of exactly what it was that triggered it. See if it’s the same next time. Does it happen at a certain time of the week? Are you more likely to get frustrated in the morning, evening, or the timing doesn’t matter? Is it likely to be one of your family members/ work colleagues more so than another? Are you more likely to get frustrated when you are running late, when you are under pressure?
By having knowledge and understanding of your frustration, you are more able to be in control of it, to diffuse it, and to let it go. This will be one of the big changes in your life that will make work and home life easier for you. You will notice a vast difference in your approach and enjoyment of life by minimising the frustration that you feel.