How to Handle Frustration like a Pro

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Do you feel like an over-heated machine that needs to have the ‘Under Maintenance’ sign on? Do you feel like punching a pillow (or someone) so hard to release the pent-up energy?

Guess what? You are not alone. Life is full of frustrations. They can be minor irritations or continued failures towards your desired goal. Every person at one point in time gets frustrated and angry. Frustration is destructive if you choose to swallow it and proceed. It could result in stress, anger, and depression. Instead, we can change frustration into a useful indicator of problems. We can make it act as a motivator for change. Here’s how!

1. Develop a ‘take it easy’ policy:

The best way to handle most situations is to take it easy. This way, besides pushing frustration away from you, you avoid unnecessary tantrums. For example, here’s a conversation from the series FRIENDS. It describes how the character Phoebe handles her friends’ remark about her by taking it easy. It is a bright contrast to how they handled theirs.

Monica: So, maybe I am a little high maintenance. And maybe Rachel is a bit of a pushover. But you know what we decided you are?
Rachel: Yes, we are very sorry to tell you this, but you, Phoebe, are flaky.
Monica: Hah!
Phoebe: That’s true, I am flaky.
Rachel: So, what, you’re just… you’re okay with being flaky?
Phoebe: Yeah.
Monica: Well, then, I’m okay with being high maintenance.
Rachel: Yeah, and I am okay with being a pushover.
Phoebe: That’s great. Good for you guys.
Monica: I am not high maintenance!
Rachel: I am not a pushover!
Phoebe: Who said you were?
Monica and Rachel: You did!
Phoebe: Oh, I’m flaky. I’ll say anything.

When life gives you insults, handle it like Phoebe!

2. Fuckanomics:

If you watch the TED talk “Magic of Not Giving a Fuck”, you will definitely change your mind about frustration. Here’s the short version.

You are born with a ton of fucks to give. So you spend them like a kid with a credit card. You give away too many of them for unnecessary things like fashion sense and so when you are young. As you grow old, you learn to budget them. Then you get even older, so you’re down to one or two fucks a month and those fucks are precious. You give them to your family, your hobbies, your job and that’s it. Then you hit fuck insolvency. You get one fuck a year and you have to make it last so you go without. But at some point, the fuck faucet runs completely dry and you’re out of fucks to give. So, it is important to weigh the problem at hand and decide if it’s worth giving a fuck and getting frustrated.

3. Use it as a fuel for inspiration:

Ok now, the problem at hand is too huge to take it easy and you have realised that it’s definitely important. It makes you feel like you’re failing and you’re frustrated. What should you do now? Give up? Frustration causes most of the people to give up. But if we take the same to inspire ourselves, who knows where it will take us. The life stories below give us the strength to tame the frustration beast and use it for inspiration.

Joanne Kathleen Rowling (JKR)
JKR was a single mother living under adverse conditions. Publishers rejected her book 12 times. She fought to finally get it published which went on to define a million childhood fantasies.

Larry Ellison
This Jewish immigrant found the biggest Database company- Oracle. His mother handed him over to his relatives. His adopted father slandered him for not being good at anything. He is now the 5th richest person in the world.

Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam (People’s president)
As a little boy born in a poor family, he started with selling newspapers to fund his education. He went on to become a scientist and attained a stainless reputation in Indian politics.

Here’s more help!

How Frustration Can Make us More Creative. – Tim Harford  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7wF2AdVy2Q

Book to Overcome Frustration – Taming the Drunken Monkey by William L Mikulas

There are several other ways to tackle frustration. They include relaxation, physical exercise and getting help from a therapist. Frustration and anger are fundamental emotions that everyone experiences from time to time. We all suffer from frustration, and being able to deal with it is a very important skill to develop. Let’s follow the above steps and control frustration before we let it control us!


Frustration leading to stress? Read 7 Simple Ways to Beat Everyday Stress.

Want to change your life around for the better? Check out 4 Ways To Start Living to The Fullest Today

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