Understanding and managing frustration. How to deal with this unpleasant emotion in a healthy way?

Frustration is a universal emotion that we have all experienced at some point in life. It appears when we have positive expectations and then they are not met.. It is a natural reaction, generated by people’s innate ability to anticipate and expect certain results. If not managed properly, it can become a major source of anxiety and depression.

There are 3 reasons that cause frustration:

The first occurs before the delay than expected. For example, it is common for us to have to wait a year or two before receiving profits from a new business. Nevertheless, many novice entrepreneurs are discouraged by the difficulties that appear and are not compensated by immediate benefits. So, they get frustrated and end up abandoning their projects.

The second reason occurs when you get less than expected, either in quantity or quality.. A case may be that of a student who spends many hours and effort preparing for an exam. For example, if you were hoping to get a 10, you might be frustrated if your final grade is an 8. It is important to pay attention to the size of our expectations, because it is not always possible to get the maximum result. Under this dichotomous view, we run the risk of making invisible any other result that is also valid..

When there is a bad work climate, other emotions such as anger often appear.

The third reason arises from obstacles that prevent achieving what is desired.. For example, many employees feel frustrated in situations of ingratitude, indifference, or devaluation in environments with authoritarian bosses. This is because workers expect to receive minimal recognition for their effort, in addition to their salary. When there is a bad work climate, other emotions such as anger and resentment often appear, which end up aggravating work frustration. In recent years, people began to talk about emotional salary as a strategy to improve worker motivation.

Emotional balance in times of national crisis: how to take care of our mental health

How to manage frustration?

One of the main challenges when it comes to managing frustration is acknowledging it, without falling into victimhood or defeat. It can even become something positive if we learn to manage it properly. By definition, this emotion is produced by expectations that are not met. Therefore, the first step to face it is to identify if the expectation is realistic. On many occasions, our goals and objectives are lofty, fanciful, or improbable. Faced with this situation, it is recommended to read what we expect from a reasonable and sensible perspective.

Besides, the expectation can be realistic and what fails is the strategy we implement to achieve it. In these cases, it is convenient to identify what the problem was and look for alternative solutions to overcome it. For example, recognizing mistakes, setting intermediate goals, learning new skills, brainstorming, looking for examples of successful cases, knowing how to delegate, asking for help, etc.

The expectation can be realistic and what fails is the strategy we implement to achieve it.

How to deal with frustration is a very personal matter. Like all emotions, we can take advantage of the experience of each one of them to reflect, learn and be more aware of who we are..

Instead of judging that an emotion is bad or harmful, we can reinterpret it as a signal that tells us whether we should continue or rethink our actions. In the case of frustration, it is an opportunity to evaluate what our goals are and how to achieve them.

*Clinical Psychologist MP1366 (Chubut) @rodrigojaldo

You may also like