December 13, 2017

According to psychologists, frustration is a common emotional response to opposition. Related to anger, annoyance, and disappointment; frustration arises from the perceived resistance to the fulfillment of an individual’s will or goal. And it is likely to increase when a will or goal is denied or blocked.

Although frustration can take so much out of you and put your life on hold making you go in circles without any progress at all. It is important to note that frustration is not something that suddenly hits us out of the blue. It is rather something that builds up progressively over time.

When circumstances are not panning out as you had expected; you are being held back from what you want, and the solutions you are after seem just out of reach. You’re so close, yet still so far. This is the point where frustration sets in.

There could be two main sources of frustration – Internal Frustration and External Frustration.

Unattained personal goals, fear, unfulfilled desires, perceived deficiencies, lack of confidence and low self-esteem could lead to internal frustration. While external causes of frustration generally involve conditions outside an individual control. Such as physical roadblocks we encounter in life including other people and things that get in the way of our goals.

One of the biggest sources of frustration in today’s world is that which is caused by the perception of wasting time. When you’re standing in line at a bank, in traffic, on the phone, or watching your day go by when you have got so much to do; that’s one big frustration.

We end up feeling worried and out of control because things are not going the way we had planned.

Although everyone deals with frustration at some point in their lives. But not everyone has mastered the art of dealing with it effectively.

A typical response to frustration would be giving up, crying, anger, depression etc. The truth, however, is that these do not really help the situation but worsens it.

So what then works?

First of all, you need to understand that you cannot rid yourself of frustration forever but you should master the art of dealing with it.

1. Identify what triggers your frustration.

Coping with frustration really should start with recognizing the sources that trigger the feeling. And using the proper techniques to choose a different emotional response to it.

Ask yourself this question; What triggered my frustration? Why am I feeling this way? Are you frustrated when people do not meet your expectations? Probably you wanted something done and it wasn’t done properly.

Do you get frustrated when someone disturbs you while working? For instance, someone calls you at a time when you are fully into something you are doing. Do you get frustrated when you are asked to wait in line or join a queue to get something? Do you get frustrated with difficult problems? For instance, does difficult homework tend to provoke an outburst?

So the first step is to identify what triggers your frustration. With this, you can now calmly proffer solutions in dealing with these triggers. It could be putting your phone off or in silent mode when you really need to concentrate on your work.

Or giving clear details on how you want something done and probably checking from time to time how it is going. You could also try to get to a place earlier than you usually do so you don’t have to wait in a long queue to get what you want.

2.  Make a list of things you could do to improve your frustration.

Try to identify every possible action, and put it on the list. At the end of this, you’ll feel much better as the problem is already half solved.

To be a better version of yourself, you have to program your mind into what you want to achieve.

So, always remember that by writing, not only will you get your mind off the situation. But you will also see reason from a different perspective!

3.  Direct your attention towards something else when the feeling of frustration affects your mind.

Constantly hammering on the current situation will not produce any solution. Give it a break for some time, do something else or go somewhere else, maybe take a walk or read a book. At the time you get back, your mind is clear and you are able to think more effectively than before.

Engaging in an exercise can help relieve tension and stress caused by frustration.

Walk, jog, or hike outdoors in a natural environment if possible. If you are not used to exercising regularly, take it slow so you feel refreshed, not exhausted.


In addition, engaging in regular exercises can help relieve tension and stress caused by frustration. Walk, jog, or hike outdoors in a natural environment if possible. If you are not used to exercising regularly, take it slow so you feel refreshed, not exhausted.

4.  Keep a journal.  Frustration doesn’t have to be a terrible thing.

One thing that can help you feel like a champ after going through what you thought was horrible is to keep a journal. As such, you can document every detail of what happened; cause, effect, solution, and lesson learnt should be the very core of such documentation.

 We have identified the POWER OF WRITING here. 

Finally, talking to someone or spending time with people who can understand and support you will go a long way. Talk to friends about what gets you frustrated, friends who will listen to you and not judge you. If you do not have close friends you feel comfortable doing this with, a supportive mentor or counselor can help you talk these through.

Do you often feel frustrated? How have you dealt with the feeling of frustration?

I hope you benefit greatly from this piece. Until my next post, cheers.

Love, Sekinat Sanni.

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