How to reduce frustration- Quick techniques to eliminate frustration

HOW TO HANDLE LIFE’S FRUSTRATIONS: 7 TECHNIQUES TO DEAL WITH FRUSTRATION.

Aashkaa Nair

Mental Health Writer

More often than not, we all feel frustrated. We all feel like giving up on things, venting it out on others (even though it’s not their fault) or just staying alone. Feeling like that is normal. Everybody feels stymied at some point in their lives. So why does this feeling materialize? This happens for a few reasons.

Aggression, hostility, impulsivity, and defensiveness often accompany frustration—and these emotions can generate their own stress if you don't deal with them in a healthy manner. Increased frustration, irritability, and sensitivity can be signs of burnout, which is often caused by chronic, unmitigated stress.

One, when an individual is physically or emotionally stressed or they might not have the adequate resources to handle the situation; the feeling of frustration starts building up. Second, when an individual bottles up his/her emotions for a very long time; frustration sets in. Third, unrealistic expectations lead to frustration. Not dealing with frustration can lead to severe problems in relationships, workplace, social settings, etc.

Before dealing with frustration, it is important to understand the frustration. Try to figure out where is your frustration stemming from, what is the potential reason and why is it affecting you. Frustrated people tend to not recognise the physical, social and emotional resources available for them in their vicinity. They tend to look at the negative aspects of the situation.

When we feel frustrated, we all feel like giving up on things, venting it out on others (even though it’s not their fault) or just staying alone. Feeling like that is normal. Everybody feels stymied at some point in their lives. So why does this feeling occur? This happens for a few reasons.

  • When an individual is physically or emotionally stressed or they might not have the adequate resources to handle the situation; the feeling of frustration builds up.
  • When an individual bottles up his/her emotions for a very long-time frustration sets in.
  • Unrealistic expectations lead to frustration. Not dealing with frustration can lead to severe problems in relationships, workplace, social settings, etc.

Moreover, increased frustration can also lead to burnout. A typical burnout attributes to physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.

Questions to ask yourself when you feel frustrated

This mindful approach to dealing with frustration begins with introspection. Instead of convincing yourself to accept the negative feeling, try to get to the root of it.

  • What is the worst thing that can happen after this?

Most of the time, you will realize that consequences are not nearly as bad as they seem at the time.

  • Is it necessary to resolve this issue right now, or can it wait until tomorrow?

This will dispel the sense of urgency that often induces panic and distress.

  • Is there a way for me to gain a more realistic perspective on this issue?

Once we set aside our subjectivity and look at a problem objectively, we can make rational decisions.

  • Is my behavior in line with my values?

You will definitely change your perspective if you realize you are acting out of character.

  • Am I reasonable about my expectations?

This applies to family issues, relationships at work, or short-term career goals — you should be realistic about what to expect and always see the other side.

  • Is this frustrating feeling helping me solve the issue?

I believe this is the most important question because the answer is probably no.

Our coping mechanisms to deal with frustration stand at variance. However, some basic methods that can help you cope with your frustration daily are described below:

1. Recognise your triggers

Try to spend some time thinking about the potential source of your frustration, e.g. you might be frustrated with your teammate for not cooperating or your parents for not understanding you. Doing this would help you understand the root cause of your frustration and once you pinpoint the reason, you exactly know the cause of your frustration and you can try not to blow it out to other areas of your life.

2. Do something about that reason

Once you recognize your source of frustration, you might want to do something about it. You can either write it down somewhere or share it with the concerned person. However, try to ensure the actions you take are healthy and positive. These actions shouldn't be hurting or harming anyone in any way. Venting out your frustration in a healthy way is the most optimum way to deal with it. Moreover, healthily dealing with them will help you maintain relationships and your mental health in the long term.

3. Distract yourself

We all have those times when we just cannot vent out our frustration. For e.g. you might not be able to vent out your frustrations in front of your parents or elders, or an employee might not be able to vent out his/her frustrations in front of his/her boss. In such situations, pouring out your heart might not be the most favorable way to deal with it. Nevertheless, during such situations distracting yourself can be a great way to reduce the level of your frustration. Try to listen to some music or go out for a walk or exercise! Studies show that listening to good music and exercising release endorphins which are the ‘feel-good’ hormones in your body.

Distracting helps in the objective analysis of your problem. When you come back to the problem after some you understand it better and you also realize your role in it. Not acting upon things in a heated moment enables us to deal with the issue rationally.

4. Take deep breaths

Remember your mother saying count to 100 when you're angry or take a deep breath? Well, these tips work when you perform them in the right manner. If you don't have time to exercise or read or listen to music, taking a deep breath when you're frustrated can help you in calming down. Taking deep breaths activates your lungs and purifies the air you're inhaling. It makes you feel placid, unruffled, and composed. So the next time you feel frustrated, try taking deep breaths the moment the feeling of frustration arises.

5. Share it with someone

When you're unable to share your negative emotions with the concerned person; sharing it with a trusted individual might comfort you. This someone can be your friend, partner, parent, or your therapist. However, make sure that the person you're sharing with is a trusted individual.

Sharing your frustrations relieves you of your negative emotions. It acts as a process of catharsis. This individual can also enable you to brainstorm solutions. In fact, you might gain a new perspective of looking at the problem.

6. Forgive and forget

Forgiveness is a powerful tool. Forgiving somebody doesn't make you a smaller human being, if fact it makes you modest. When you forgive somebody with a pure heart, it helps you get rid of your negative feelings. It releases you from the vicious cycle of negativity. If you learn to forgive people, your opening a door of positivity and learning in your life.

7. Change Your Thoughts

Once you’ve shifted the meaning, it’s easier to change your thoughts. Ask yourself whether the other person truly meant to offend you, or if they were simply stating their perspective. Or perhaps they were tired and didn't mean what they said? Changing “How dare she…!” to “Maybe she said this because…” has a completely different effect on our mind and body.

Viktor Frankl wrote: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones. For instance, instead of telling yourself, “It's awful, everything's ruined," tell yourself, "it's frustrating, and it's understandable that I'm upset about it, but it's not the end of the world, and getting angry will not fix it anyhow."

Rational self-talk is the best way to help you see outside your bubble. Whenever you give in to the negativity that’s overwhelming you, you are validating the feeling. Nurturing your capacity to think clearly by understanding your sentiments and emotions before they spiral out of control is key. It’s difficult to avoid frustration in life, however, you can learn to manage it efficiently. Managing feelings of frustration, like so many other aspects of life, isn't always easy, though it is well worth it in the end.

Consciously and consistently applying these techniques to reduce frustration would instill them in your system. Getting used to coping with frustration can be a little tough. However, what is life without a few challenges?

View more content by Aashkaa Nair

Discussion Board

What's do you think about these techniques for managing frustration? Do you have any personal technique that works wonders for you?

Rohit Chopra
I meditate and do pranayam. That helps me stay calm during hectic and stressful days 😇
Aashkaa Nair
I exercise to manage my frustration. 😇