Frustration can be caused by external and internal factors such as negative thoughts, beliefs and attitudes. In this month we will talk about common factors and a few ways in which one can cope with frustrations.
Setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves and/or others can lead to frustrations especially when the expectation cannot be met and/or when unforeseen situations occur which lead to set backs. Repeatedly experiencing failures or setbacks in life and relationships adds to the accumulation of frustration and in the long term helplessness and hopelessness.
When external factors limit the achievement of a goal, create changes in the plans or others deny our requests it can lead to feeling frustrated, anxious and angry with the situation. In extreme cases frustration can escalate to helplessness and hopelessness in situations which are out of our control.
When our morals and values clash with the values of others in our surroundings it can lead to frustration and disbalance.
External circumstances such as noise, temperature, or crowds, too many changes in the surroundings or procedures of the organization.
Misunderstanding others or different communication styles can lead to problems and frustrations at work or in personal relationships.
Individuals who thrive on structure, certainty and active solution seeking will feel frustrated with uncertainty and it can lead to feeling stressed and being ambiguity can lead to anxiety, especially for those to prefer a clear direction or solution, causing frustration.
What can we do?
Initially it is important to reduce the intensity of the emotion felt. Acknowledge the existence of the frustration. Be mindful to your body’s physical, emotional and behavioral reactions when you feel frustrated. Take deep breath and relax your muscles in order to calm down. Perhaps do a physical activity like jogging, yoga or walking in nature to help channel your negative emotions more positively. Being mindful to your surrounding can help refocus your thoughts to the present. Some may prefer creative activity to express their thoughts and emotions like dancing, drawing, journaling, singing etc. When you are more calm you can start thinking more rationally. Reflect on the situation. What caused this frustration? What are the internal and external factors that interacted? What can I change? You can try positive affirmation to boost you self-efficacy and motivation to deal with the setbacks or the obstacles. Take action to change what you can and let the rest go with the help of acceptance. Do not forget to practice self-care in the process.