You Can Stop Feeling Frustrated

Feelings of frustration are something we may feel occasionally.  Because they hamper success, it is important to know what to do when this happens.

The feeling of frustration is a signal that something is not  going well.  It can happen in your personal or
professional life.  Its purpose is to get your attention - like a flashing red light.  Different things cause
frustration for different people.

If frustration is not stopped, it will drain your energy.  It is unfulfilling, disappointing, and can prevent you from achieving your goals.   Because this feeling is not productive, it is important to learn to identify it as soon as possible.  Answering the following three questions is an important first step in being able to stop feeling frustrated:

  1. How do you know when you are frustrated?
  2. Do you feel it in your body?  If so, where?
  3. What are you saying or telling yourself about what is happening?

Once you know you are frustrated, it is important to follow the next four steps in order to stop the feeling so that you can move forward:

  1. Stop reacting to the stimuli.  You may need to withdraw from the situation for a few minutes and take some slow, deep breaths.  It is important to have positive self-talk while you are focusing on your breathing.  For example tell yourself, “I can help myself by staying calm.”  Then picture yourself being calm.
  2. Be aware of your values.  These are the things in your life that are most important to you.  The more closely a situation matches your main values, the more satisfaction you will feel.  Try to connect some aspect of the situation to one or more of your main values.  If you cannot, you may need to think about how you can eventually remove yourself from the situation.
  3. Be aware of your strengths.  Think about how you can use one or more of your top strengths in the situation.  When you are able to use one of your strengths, you are more focused and fulfilled.
  4. Make new goals or choices in a timely way.  When appropriate, simplify what you can.  Chunk down your goal into small steps so that it is easier to experience success.  Even achieving small steps can help relieve frustration.  Steady forward movement in something that is important to you decreases frustration.

When you are frustrated, following the above steps will help you stop frustration, renew your energy, and enhance productivity.  You can stop feeling frustrated and experience more satisfaction and fulfillment in your life.

Maurine Patten, Ed.D., CMC, Positive Psychology to the Rescue

Find more articles and information about living a meaningful life and maximizing your possibilities at:

Editor’s Note: The life skill to detect and correct for frustration is a basic building block of emotional management.  Frustration, when unchecked, leads to stress, anger, denial, resentment and worse.  Thanks for telling our readership exactly what to do and how.

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