Frustration! An Internal Cure!

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Frustration is an uneasy emotional orientation that we all can unfortunately relate to.
Not only can we relate to it, but society seems to constantly be pushing it into your face.
All of the people we are around seem to display their levels of frustration openly! Sometimes it can almost feel like you are stuck in a constant state of frustration.
How can you avoid having some of this negativity rub off on you? You probably truly believe that you cannot.
You may believe that the only way for you to escape the infection of frustration is to simply avoid the situations that cause you to feel frustrated altogether.
But, come on, is this really realistic? Probably not, if you analyze accurately.
I'm assuming that you can identify many different frustratingsituations that you are placed in which you could not avoid.
For instance, you may find that you commonly become frustrated in situations when you are with your child.
Let me think, since you are the parent, it is probably safe for me to assume that you simply cannot just avoid your child altogether, right? And what parent really wants to? Not too many.
I think more accurately, the parent may want to find a way to interact with their child in a less frustrating way.
Yeah, now that sounds ideal! But, no matter how hard you try, arriving at that perfect, frustration free place just does not seem to happen.
So, exactly how can you get there? Is it even possible to get there? I believe that it is.
Typically when I encounter a person who wants some help with the levels of frustration that they are feeling in their daily lives, they detail allof the different situations that cause them frustration.
Interestingly enough, I have noticed a pattern becomes apparent when I ask these individuals to imagine and describe a perfect world where frustration doesn't exist.
The pattern is largely characterized by an overwhelming amount of identified external factors causing the frustration.
Let me explain it this way, people often identify factors outside of themselves as triggers for their levels of frustration.
You can probably even identify the pattern in your own thinking about frustrating situations.
For instance, do you think "well, yes I do get frustrated with this person in these situations, but I wouldn't if he/she/it didn't...
" Well, the whole, "I wouldn't if he/she/it didn't...
," statement is clearly externalizing the frustration, are you with me? You are essentially saying that you are powerless in the situations that frustrate you and that you have no ability to begin to help yourself feel less frustration until the other person changes what they are doing.
You are saying you are frustrated because of all of these external factors! A different approach.
Do you really want to experience less frustration? Really, really want that? Instead of externalizing in situations that frustrate you, try to analyze what you could do to avoid that exact frustrating situation for yourself.
An example, I had completed a pretty tough organic chemistry assignment in my good old undergrad days.
I was working on this in the college library.
At one point, I took a break from working on this challenging assignment and went to go grab a snack.
Now, the college campus was pretty safe, and it was a common thing for students to leave their notes, computers, and books in the library while taking a quick break.
Well, I returned from my little snack break and found that my organic chemistry assignment was gone! Completely gone.
I searched through all of my bags and books, but had a bad feeling that it really had been stolen.
I easily re-wrote the assignment from memory, since I had just completed it this was not too challenging, but I was very frustrated! I went to the organic chemistry class the next day to turn in the assignment.
I was very tired and still not quite yet fully awake (8 am class) when I looked over my left shoulder and recognized MY WORK on that student's paper! I was almost ready to let that student have it, but then I was distracted and looked to my right! What? My work was on that student's paper too! I couldn't believe it.
Now I was really frustrated and ticked! I began to look around at all of the student's papers and on an overwhelming majority of the papers, I SAW MY HARD WORK.
So, what to do.
I was certain that my assignment had been stolen and passed around to lots of people who were struggling with completing it.
They stole my work, they passed it around, they copied all of it.
What got me was that they had no shame in showing up and turning this stolen work in! Oh yeah, I was frustrated all right! They were doing lots of things that frustrated me! I could have: * yelled at everyone in the classroom right then and there, revealing everything they did to the teacher of the course and all of their other classmates * gone directly to the instructor after the class and informed her of what I knew had happened * gotten so upset that I dropped the course until more mature members comprised it * started an endless list of messy things to do to vent my frustrations Okay, now, let's analyze the effectiveness of reacting in this manner.
I will pick one of the listed actions and assess the outcome.
I could have gone to the instructor and informed her of what had happened.
I'm sure she would have listened and believed me.
I think she might have already kind of determined that this event had taken place, considering allof the student's papers she reviewed with my easily recognizable style of work on them.
Now, doing this may have made me feel a little better, but what is the chance that this could happen to me again? I would say pretty high actually.
Think about it, if I feel better and I know that I wasn't doing anything wrong to cause my frustrations, I will probably just continue behaving in the same manner as before.
Behaving in the same manner as before.
Okay, well that means continuing to go to the library and possible leave my work irresponsibly unattended.
Hmmm..
...
let me think, actually if I continue acting this way, I think I might even experience these events more, right? I mean I would be increasing the target by continuing to keep my work in this irresponsible way.
The student who took the assignment, copied it, and passed it around didn't receive a consequence for this behavior.
Therefore, that student might be more inclined to keep a look out in the library for me and when I might be leaving some assignments out unattended.
So what did I do? I reflected on the situation and tried to identify what I could do to decrease the probability of this happening to me again.
I decided to keep all of my work attended to at all times.
I didn't want to be leaving it out and making it seem as if I didn't value it.
Possibly inspiring someone to steal even more becauseof the creators attitude toward the product.
Now, with that change of behavior, what is the probability of my assignment getting stolen, copied, and mass distributed again? Low to none, I would estimate, right? Like the info you're reading? Please! Help support this site, check out the stores! Now, can you see the benefit in that? I suggest always trying to think, if I change/do these things, what is the probability of that frustrating event happening to me again.
I think you will notice that the options coming up as the lowest probability of recurrence will be when you look at how you can change yourself and your behaviors.
If you continue to externalize the sources of your frustration without taking a look at yourself, you could be actually putting yourself insituations that INCREASE the probability of these frustrating events occurring even more.
Try it out, please.
It is a different approach at first and kind of tough to get used to thinking this way, but it really does make things better! Remember, even with emotions, practice makes perfect! Practice thinking in this new and improved way every time you can identify a frustrating situation.
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