Frustration is a normal human emotion. It is healthy to feel frustration and recognize it. But what we do with it is what really matters. Frustration is seen as an emotional reaction to stress. Usually, when we feel frustrated quickly, it is because we are subconsciously worried or concerned about something else. Therefore, we can call frustration the ‘top layer feeling’.

Studies show that frustration speaks to a sense of stagnation or helplessness. Furthermore, it is the inability to make things happen in the way that you want.

Frustration shows up in

Some underlying emotions include anger, anxiety or fear, sadness, guilt, or shame. When we feel angry, we feel done in. Like someone has done wrong to us. When we feel angry, it’s helpful to validate the feeling. Don’t beat yourself up for being angry or try to mask it. One positive thing about anger is that we realize what we don’t want!

Anxiety or fear leads to frustration. When we are anxiously waiting for something and it is not happening. Or when we are scared of a negative outcome. Like you want answers to something that’s scary and may affect your life. Or You’re looking for certainty, and it’s not coming. These feelings may boil over into frustration because we are not acknowledging the source of the emotion.

Sadness is intimidating to deal with. We can say that it is easier to deal with than frustration. Many times, sadness stems from hopelessness. We may view a situation as hopeless, therefore causing sadness. Or it could be a change you want to happen, but it’s not happening. Or you even want to change part of yourself, but you feel it is impossible. Disappointment may also cause sadness.

Guilt and shame are two that go hand in hand. This introduces wanting a solution for something you haven’t yet forgiven yourself for. Sometimes, we look for people’s help in the process and do not find it. Which may contribute to the “frustration”. The weight of long-term shame can cause a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

Tips to help you

Take notice of how your body responds to certain instructions. When given a task from someone, do you feel anxious immediately? Does worry overcome you? Take note of what goes on in the moment. And remember that this task is something that weighs on you.

Talk to the people around you. They may not know why you are always feeling frustrated. Or why you may get irritated at the small things. If they understand that you have a task ahead of you that makes you feel anxious, they may be able to make other things easier for you. Or they may give you space to figure it out. It will also avoid unnecessary arguments. Due to that, both parties are aware of what is the reason behind the ‘frustration’.

It is more beneficial to label your feelings for what it really is. Thus, you will be able to find a long-lasting resolution to the ‘frustration’.

Just as you would write your daily plan, schedule or meeting, you can write down your ‘frustrations’. In that moment, it is hard to dive deeper into a feeling of frustration. Therefore, you can write it down, and refer back to it at the end of the day. Thereafter you can unpack the feeling of frustration and where it arises from. In addition, when we feel frustrated another time, we may refer back. And remember how it was dealt with the last time.

Lastly, recognize what you cant change. Some things are just out of our control. Although we may feel contrary, we cannot be a part of every decision. And we certainly cant control the outcome. Be mindful of what you have in your hands.

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