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Frustrating Choices

I think we can all say we’ve yelled at a recorded message before, and that’s okay. It’s a recording. We didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, and we probably felt better afterward. Everyone gets frustrated from time to time.

The question is, “How do you handle that frustration?” This then leads us to a few other questions.

When you are frustrated do you tend to:

  • Yell at people?

  • Hit things?

  • Hold it in?

  • Do something potentially harmful (overeat/drugs/alcohol/cut)?

  • Go for a ride/walk/run?

  • Take some deep breaths?

  • Listen to calming music?

  • Meditate/pray?

I tend to get frustrated when something unpleasant happens that is out of my control. I became highly frustrated last week, almost to the point of tears. I called Jim, who was unavailable at the time. I then started to pray. I knew the situation was beyond anyone’s control, and there was nothing to be done about it. I asked God to give me a sense of peace about it and help me let go of my frustration. It was then that Jim called me back. I was able to vent. He didn’t try to fix it, he just listened, and I felt loads better after our call.

There’s a buzzword that was big a couple of years ago but is probably even more critical now during our ongoing pandemic, and that is resilience.

Resilience, in this case, is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

If you look at the questions above, you will see that the top four are not things you should do, while the bottom four are better options for handling frustration. Let’s go through a few ideas to change those automatic reactions if you tend towards the top four.

  1. Recognize that you behave in an over-the-top manner

  2. Decide that you would like to respond differently

  3. Talk through some ideas with someone you trust

  4. Put a plan of action together to start implementing the bottom behaviors when you are frustrated

  5. Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight, but take that first step quickly.

Occasional momentary frustration is typical, but don’t hang out there. Being constantly frustrated over the littlest things is not good for you or anyone around you. If you know someone who might benefit from this information, be sure to share it with them.

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