Have you ever overslept, spilled your coffee, and missed your train to work? Sent a text to someone two days ago and you never heard back from them? If so, you may know that frustrating feeling which can result in disappointment and misunderstanding. We all get frustrated for different reasons, but thankfully we can deal with it in a healthy way. Here are 9 ways to bounce back from frustration, you can pick and choose which one works for you.
Breathe and Determine Control
What’s most important in a situation when you get frustrated is to breathe. Laura Sitvarin-Garstka, school counselor at William Penn Middle School, Pennsbury School District, says that frustration is definitely something she experiences, almost on a daily basis. “In the moment, I have to remind myself to breathe. Once I am breathing, I can begin to think rationally and can determine if the frustration is within my control,” Sitvarin says. “If it is, I can begin to problem solve. If it is not, I have to give myself the permission to feel the frustration in the moment, and then let it go.”
Adam Pardes, Chief Operating Officer of NeuroFlow, also believes that breathing is the first thing you should do. “It’s a great way to refocus your mind and help your heart rate and breathing rate get in sync which has a calming effect on your autonomic nervous system,” Pardes says. If you take 2-3 deep breaths, it can help and make a big difference. Breathing will help get your frustration in control.
Check In With Your Body
You have to remember to take care of your body, and sometimes you’re unaware of it when you’re frustrated. “l try to check in with my body to see where I’m holding stress, which usually manifests in crouching posture when sitting, holding my shoulders too close to my ears, or clenching my jaw,” Pardes says. This can help focus and relax your body and mind to work on why you’re frustrated.
Sometimes in the situation, you can’t help it. There’s nothing you can do. You may need to walk away, take some deep breaths, and get away from what’s frustrating you. You need to give yourself time to calm down. You need to think if you really need help with this situation, or you can just walk away from it. With Sitvarin, she works with children every day, who can handle frustration differently compared to adults. They are more sensitive to a situation. This is when they should go out for a walk to work out their frustrations.
Admit You Are Frustrated
Frustration is normal in all of us, right? Sometimes we can’t admit that we are frustrated, but it’s a part of life and everything can’t go our way. Some people are good at dealing with frustration, but others are not. It depends on their temper, personality, and mind. Suzanne Dorfman, M.Ed., LPC Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapist in Newtown, PA, believes that with other people, including herself, have to accept the feeling. “Acceptance is a big part of it,” Dorfman says. “When you fight the frustration, it persists.” She believes that you have to be aware, accept your frustration, and take a break. “When you’re frustrated, you’re worked up in a stressful experience.”
Talk To Someone
Talk with someone you trust, like a parent, sibling, friend, or counselor. A person can help you figure out the situation together and give you a different perspective, especially if you’re not in the right mindset to decide for yourself. However, make sure it is someone who can respond and help you in a positive way. If not, that could make the frustration worse.
Mental Distraction or Physical Activity
When you’ve taken deep breaths and walk away, distract your mind. Read a book or watch a new episode of your favorite show on Netflix. Go for a walk or a run. Talk to your friend about the latest Game of Thrones episode. We can’t always focus on the situation for so long because it is not healthy for us. “If we keep focusing on the situation, the frustration keeps getting fed,” Dorfman says. “Once you ask, if you keep asking, your frustration is going to build. Then you have to detach, take focus off of what the person is or is not doing and put the focus back on you.” At the end of the day, it’s all about you taking care of yourself. Help quiet your mind. Sit and drink water. Eat your favorite snack. Listen to music. Focus on you.
The problem-solve part of your brain is shut down when you’re frustrated because you’re helpless and have lost control, but it’s one of the most important things that needs to bounce back. Some people just can’t problem-solve for themselves, which can lead to anxiety and depression. However, you need to get a better sense of yourself and have more self-esteem. We all know we can overreact to things others think are silly, but someone with anxiety can definitely react to a situation differently than someone who is not. Once you’ve taken deep breaths, took a walk, distracted your mind, take yourself to a quiet place and start to problem-solve. See what you can and cannot control in the situation.
Focus on the present moment. We can’t change the past. We can’t change people’s minds. We can’t always help how things work out. Try to think and feel. Use your senses. Hear, see, touch in the present moment. Bouncing back from frustration takes time, and we may not always know what’s the best way for us. If we stay in the present and feel our feelings, we can move on.
While some methods of bouncing back from frustration may work for some and not others, we need patience. When wondering if there was anything you shouldn’t do to help yourself bounce back from frustration, Pardes doesn’t think there is anything to specifically avoid. “Different things work for different people,” he says. “Some folks may find it very therapeutic to vent out loud and then can more easily let things go, while others may end up hyperfocusing and making things worse. Ultimately, it’s about finding a solution rather than lingering on a problem.” If we are patient during our frustration, we can begin to focus on taking care of ourselves. Patience is something we all need to have in everyday-life, so it is important to develop and hold onto. If something doesn’t work for you, just be patient and keep on trying. There is always a solution to something, whether we will like it or not.
At the end of the day, it’s all about taking care of yourself. One of these 9 ways might not work for you, so pick which one does. Only you know how to control your frustration and what makes it better or worse. Focus on the present, breathe, and be patient. Make sure you have control. It’s easy to get frustrated from something, but we just have to bounce back from it!
About The Author
Lauren Grossman, Writer
Lauren Grossman As a writer and library assistant, Lauren Grossman is always surrounded by books ready to tell her next story in any way she can. She wants to use her words and voice to inspire and help others.