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Thursday, December 17, 2015

When frustrated, un-frustrate yourself

Ultimately, you cause your own frustrations.

However much you find reasons to justify what or who created a situation that makes you feel frustrated, in the end, the buck stops with you. And unless you decide to not feel frustrated with your situation – whether you invited it upon yourself or it was forced on you is immaterial – anymore, you will feel no better.

The other day we were locked out of our home. The lock of our front door had been acting cranky. I had even had a carpenter look at it. But when he advised an hour-long process to fix it, I sent him away saying, matter-of-factly, that we will deal with a “being locked out” crisis, when it arrived. And it did arrive. Around 10 pm on a Sunday; when it was raining! Sure enough, I was frustrated – with myself, with the lock, with the situation, and with my poor carpenter. 10 years ago, I would have blown my fuse, banged my fist on the wall and screamed hoarse. But after trying to deal with the lock for a few minutes I suggested to my family that we should go get some dinner before the restaurant nearby closed. Over dinner, we thought through our solutions and in about an hour we had found a locksmith who let us into our own apartment in three minutes!

There's no magical way to deal with frustrations. Everyone struggles. And that includes me. But one way, I have discovered for myself, that often helps in snapping out of a series of frustrating thoughts that torment you when things go wrong is to ask yourself, “What could I have done to avoid feeling frustrated?” As you can see, this question is not directed at taking on the blame for the situation nor is it a solution per se to the problem on hand. It is only focused on the aspect of how you are feeling – frustrated – at the moment and how to deal with that feeling. When you go to the root of that feeling, you will find that you could have responded differently to the situation which would have at least prevented you from feeling frustrated, helpless and despondent.

When you are in an un-frustrated state of mind, you begin to think more clearly, rationally and start addressing the problem on hand from a solution point of view rather than from a mere feeling or who-is-to-blame point of view!

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