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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Awareness can help you beat frustration

Frustration fulfills a need to express what you feel momentarily. But prolonged frustration makes you angry and depressive.

The only way to beat frustration is to be aware of it when you feel so. Each of us is entitled to a bad hair day, a lousy mood and explosive expressions. Nothing wrong with it. It is part of living, growing up, learning and evolving. In an instant gratification environment, a piece of technology that plays truant can cause frustration. An inconsiderate fellow-passenger can land you in a bad mood. A spouse or child can lead you on to a depressive spiral. And you may choose to express your frustration: gritting your teeth, thumping the desk, yelling, kicking a piece of furniture or breaking something. Up to this stage it is fine, but when you reflect back, you will often find that your frustration does not linger on because of what caused your explosive behavior but because you chose to express yourself in such dramatic ways. And for several hours, maybe even days, weeks and months, after that bout of frustration, you continue to sulk, grieve and brood over your 'plight'. In this time the cause of your frustration may no longer exist or may have chosen to move on! But you are still languishing in the abyss of your negative mood or the anger that followed it.

For just a momentary indiscretion, do you want to embrace prolonged agony? Think. How long would you hold on to a matchstick after you strike/light it? If you hold on too long, you risk burning yourself. So it is with frustrations. Be aware. The moment you feel frustration building within you, shift your attention. You see yourself in a long-winding queue, look for the most beautiful sight (may be even a person!) in your vicinity. You receive a disturbing e-mail, get on to facebook for a moment and see what's going on! You and your spouse have had a lousy argument, go out, stand in the open and look up at the sky! Beat the first frustrating thought that arises within, by shifting focus. If you can play a game on your phone or computer, where you have to shoot to win, you can and will win this frustration-beating game!

Frustration almost always breeds anger – which is a killer! So, be aware and beware! The Buddha says this so beautifully, "You will never be punished for your anger; you will always be punished by your anger"!

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