Managing frustration positively: 5 essential tips
Frustration is a negative emotion. Frustration is the result of not getting what we want or expect. In fact, it means there’s a difference between what we want and what we have.
Frustration can become very powerful and intense feeling which causes us to feel or behave in a negative way.
Here are five tips to manage frustration positively:
1. Distance yourself from the situation
Frustration can be intense, which may cause you to see, feel and then react to a situation in a distorted way. When you feel frustrated stop and think, look at the bigger picture and try to look at the situation from an outside person. Think about all the positive and negatives about the situation that is causing frustration. You can also compare it with something worse that has happened to you before. Tell yourself that what has happened now is not as bad as what you have lived before. These little 'tricks' will distance your mind from events and allow you to see the situation objectively.
2. Feel the frustration and let it go
When an emotion overwhelms you, it may be frustration, anger, sadness - feeling it and letting it go is very powerful. The more you try to ignore the feeling the bigger it becomes! It will become bigger and more destructive. If you can allow yourself to feel the emotion you can then to begin to understand why you are experiencing the frustration, which will help you become calm and relook at the situation with a positive mindset.
3. Be calm and take action
Frustration is not a good adviser; it can affect the way we behave and react in a negative way. Frustration can lead us to shout, cry, be disruptive, argumentative, and rude. This is because frustration can make us vengeful. It is important to avoid reacting in the moment.
It is very important you take a moment to calm down when something or someone frustrates you. When you feel better, you can start thinking about the next steps to take and make practical decisions.
4. Managing frustration by distinguishing between wants, needs and reality
Oftentimes, frustration happens because what we want is confused with personal needs, for example, “I want my boss to congratulate me for the work I did” - or is it - “I need my boss to value me”? However you may be feeling in the moment of frustration; "my boss ignores everything, doesn’t have time, and doesn’t recognize anything I do".
In other words, what you want, or may need, can cause you to become frustrated. The fact that your boss has not recognised the work you are doing means we may create a situation that may simply not be there.
In reality, your boss may be extremely happy with your work.
5. Accept the situation or change it
Sometimes we have to accept the situation we are in. Getting frustrated, mad or angry is not going to change the situation, but we can always change the outcome and how we behave. We can often look back on a situation and say, "maybe I could have handled it better" or "I wish I hadn’t done/said…". Think of a similar situation you have been in and how unimportant it is now! Look forward and ask yourself; in one year how important is this moment going to be to me? There are times we simply can’t change what is happening around us, however, we always have a choice of how we react.
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