We all get frustrated from time to time, but we need to express it constructively and effectively, otherwise we may hurt those we love the most.
Frustration is a normal reaction to being hurt or threatened. It most often occurs when we feel that other people are not following what we feel are acceptable standards of behaviour.
This lays the foundation for conflict.
When we reach this point it’s how we express our frustration that can cause additional stress for ourselves and in the lives of others.
For many, methods of dealing with frustration are formed at a young age.
So, for example, the way we may respond to challenging circumstances may reflect the way we were shaped by our early life experiences.
If the typical way you handle frustration causes problems in your life, then it’s time to change how you think and react to frustrating situations.
Unhealthy methods of processing frustration can lead to health problems and even inhibit our relationships.
How to deal with frustration effectively
Many people respond to frustration by getting angry, giving up, or indulging in other self-destructive behaviours such as abuse of food, alcohol, cigarettes or even drugs.
Expressing and dealing with frustration constructively requires several key components.
These ideas can help reduce the frustration in your dayto-day life as well as help you react patiently and peacefully.
1. Establish mutual respect.
You should have respect for all people involved, even those with differing opinions than your own. Everyone is entitled to his or her own voice and you’ll waste time if you’re frustrated by every opinion.
2. Have a clear awareness of your own needs, thoughts, and feelings.
Discover who you are as a person rather than mimicking someone else’s opinions and thoughts.
3. Learn the difference between surface and primary needs.
In other words, is this frustration about one of your basic needs not being met, or is it merely due to a less significant, secondary need? What’s preventing you from meeting this need?
4. Be aware of what you can and cannot control.
Some causes of frustration are beyond your control and therefore there’s no purpose wasting energy on them. Instead, use that energy to cope with the situation and move on.
5. Communicate constructively.
Be able to communicate your own personal boundaries and needs calmly and respectfully without guilt or shame. This should not involve raising your voice or swearing. Rather, learn to speak up so your personal needs are met.
6. Avoid feeling responsible for the behaviour of others.
Everyone has his or her own free will and you can’t force someone to do anything. They make their own decisions and a reasonable adult will take responsibility for their actions. Remember: only you can control your actions and no one can make you do something.
7. Determine the cause.
By identifying the cause of your hurt or frustration without placing blame, you’ll loosen the grips of frustration.
8. Realise that frustration isn’t always a bad thing.
Sometimes frustration can serve as a motivator to change, if certain problems in your life are keeping you from reaching your goals. Regularly evaluate if you’re on track to meet your life goals. Where do you want to be in five or 10 years? Sometimes you need to create a goal and make some life changes to reduce your frustration and make your goal become a reality.
9. Accept reality.
When frustration is aimed at a circumstance beyond our control, it’s time to learn to accept the realities of life.
Learning to take things in stride will make you a happier and more content person. When the frustrating situation is something you can’t control, such as getting stuck in traffic, relaxation and deep-breathing techniques can be effective.
Frustration can turn a normally peaceful person into an irrational, angry one. If you allow it, frustration can hinder your progress and immobilise you. The goals you’re trying to attain will all of a sudden be out of reach. Remember that, while you can’t completely eliminate frustration from your life, you can manage how you let it affect you.
Written by Chima Obieze
Source: The Voice