Feeling frustrated from time to time is something that is common to all of us but it’s being able to effectively deal with these feelings that can often make the difference between success and failure and it’s an important concept to grasp if you are serious about your own self improvement.
What Causes Frustration?
There are innumerable causes of frustration but we are all different as individuals and what can cause an immense sense of frustration to one person would often be simply swept aside by someone else who could deal with it more rationally. Those who fall into the latter category will almost have certainly learned strategies and coping mechanisms to deal with their frustration to enable them to overcome problems more successfully and to be more productive as a result.
How Can Frustration Affect us?
It can be very damaging on our state of mind and can turn a usually positive person into a negative one often at the flick of a switch. It can slow down and even prevent us from progressing with our goals in life and, in extreme cases, it can result in mental illness and almost completely immobilise us.
If you have ever seen a person get completely wound up, you will have seen them become unable to act rationally and sometimes even become aggressive. This can then turn into a vicious circle as their inability to think rationally causes them to become even more frustrated.
Frustration, if not dealt with, can ruin our entire lives and both our work and our personal relationships can be terminally damaged as a result.
How Can we Overcome Frustration?
Because many different things can cause us to feel frustrated, there are no simple answers or remedies to overcome our feelings. Some people, for example, simply temporarily (or sometimes permanently) give up what they were aiming to achieve and move on to something else and then they can sometimes find that they can come back to the original problem later when they are feeling calmer and can deal with it more rationally.
Knowing that you are starting to feel frustrated is often the best way of combating it. If you start experiencing these feelings and realise it, you’re then able to step back from whatever it is that’s causing you to feel this way, calm down and then you’ll find you can deal with the situation more rationally. The failure to be able to do this when, for example, a person gets into an argument when they are drunk, is what often leads to aggressive behaviour which can have devastating consequences.
Persistence and determination are two other key components in overcoming frustration. Even if we sometimes have to take a step back in order to overcome our feelings of frustration whilst trying to achieve our goals, if we don’t persist with them, that can often lead to even more feelings of frustration about our inability to see things through. Therefore, a ‘time-out’ is often all that’s required.
Sometimes we may have to look at an entirely different approach to overcome an obstacle or we may also consider that what we’ve taken on is beyond our capabilities and to seek the help and support of others.
Other ways people try to rid themselves of their frustration include taking a long walk to think through issues and to clear their mind, going to the gym or doing some other kind of physical exercise can also help. Even something like doing the housework to take your mind of things has often helped people as it’s a common fact that any physical activity reduces muscle tension, irritation and restlessness.
First Steps to Overcoming Frustration
Like with so many psychological issues we might face as adults, a lot of the problems lie in the fact that, as young children, we were programmed to deal with things differently. Feeling frustrated as a child would often be frowned upon by our parents who mistook it for childish petulance and we may have been told to simply shut up and to stop moaning. However, as adults, if we keep our frustrations completely bottled up inside, it can be a recipe for disaster.
The first step to overcoming frustration is to recognise that you’re feeling this way. Talking to a close confidante can help and often help you to gain a new perspective into why you’re feeling the way you do. Writing down your feelings can help by listing the issues which are causing you to feel frustrated which will enable you to see if there’s anything you can do to change things for the better.
On that note, it’s also important to recognise those things which you cannot change and be prepared to accept these and let go of them as events which are beyond your control and, therefore, something you should not fret about. A bereavement is a primary example.
In situations where you feel you have tried everything to curb your anger and feelings of frustration but to no avail, don’t give up. There are plenty of dedicated health professionals working within this field who will be able to assist you and offer you advice and practical help. Your GP will be able to give you more information about courses and groups that will be able to help you.