Frustrated? 7 Ways to Kick It to the Curb & Feel Better

Frustrated? 7 Ways to Kick It to the Curb & Feel Better

Frustrated girl screaming

You know that frustrated feeling.

Your alarm clock didn’t go off, had a fight with your significant other, spilled coffee on your new shirt, and you’re late to work because no one knows how to drive. You just want to scream!

And that’s only the half of it, right?

First, I want to share a little secret with you. You’re not alone. We all get that way sometimes and I’m here to tell you, it’s okay. Feeling frustrated is a bad feeling, but it’s still a feeling you should try to face head on or else it’ll fester inside you and make you feel worse, at least that’s been my experience.


Frustration is born out of helplessness and lack of control


While feeling frustrated doesn’t feel very good, probably because of the helplessness and lack of control that goes along with it, try your best to funnel your frustrated energies into something positive, constructive, and practical you do have power over.

If I make this sound simple, that’s not my intention. Breaking out of your frustrated funk is anything but easy although with some practice, you can make your frustration work for you instead of against you.

Typically when you’re feeling frustrated, you put all your energy into banging your head against the wall. Not literally of course, but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll keep thinking about it, internalize it, and keep dwelling on it until you’re beyond exhausted. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a waste to me.


Take your frustration and channel it into something positive


Instead of doing what you normally do when you’re frustrated, here’s what I do when I’m feeling frustrated and want to make myself and the situation better.


#1 – Talk About It

Call up a friend and talk about what’s frustrating you. Better yet – meet up with your friend for lunch or a light dinner and talk in person. Sometimes just venting a little and sharing your struggles can make you feel a whole lot better and give you some perspective.

Just make sure you’re also open to listening to your friend when she’s struggling with something.


#2 – Write About It

Whatever you want to call it – writing, journaling, keeping a diary – just get your feelings out and onto paper so they stop bugging you.

Don’t edit or censor yourself either. Just write your thoughts and frustrations down as quickly as possible.


#3 – Remember to Breathe

Being frustrated sometimes comes with being emotional. Before you get caught up in the drama of the moment, breathe by inhaling deeply, counting to 3, and then exhaling slowly. If you’re still feeling off, do it again until you feel a little more relaxed.


#4 – Go Take A Nap

If you’re so frustrated that you can’t even put 2 thoughts together or form a sentence, your frustration is zapping you of all your energy. My recommendation is go take a nap.

However, if you’re at work and a nap isn’t possible, go to the bathroom or walk out to your car and be alone until you compose yourself. Sometimes you just need a break!


#5 – Compartmentalize It

Frustration has a way of seeping into every facet of your life if you let it. Stop feeling frustrated by compartmentalizing it.

For example, if you’re frustrated by something at work. On the way home, mentally shut the door on all things work. Then, open the door to something enjoyable you’re going to do when you get home, such as eat something yummy for dinner, watch your favorite TV show, or spend time with your special someone.

It’s a way of deliberately and temporarily forgetting something that displeases you. This way you put the frustrated, negative feelings aside so they don’t interfere with or dominate your life. As a result, you’re free to enjoy what’s to come.


#6 – Don’t Play the Blame Game

When things go wrong, we sometimes want to blame ourselves or somebody else. I totally get that and I understand. I’ll admit that I’ve even done it.

What I can tell you is that most times finding a scapegoat doesn’t make the situation better. And, in some cases, it can make the situation worse.

If you’ve made a mistake, definitely take responsibility for it because that’s the proper thing to do, but move on. Placing blame doesn’t solve any problems. It only prolongs that frustrated feeling and continues to make everyone involved – including you – feel bad.


#7 – Do Something You Have Control Over

One of the best ways to get over that frustrated feeling is to do something you have control over. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, feeling frustrated comes from a lack of control.

What better way to move forward then to take a brisk walk outside (hello fresh air and exercise!), go to bed early (say yes to better focus!), or eat some baby carrots to prevent your sugary food cravings. As you can see, there’s a lot you do have control over!

In closing, by doing some of the exercises above, you’re centering yourself so you can leave the drama behind and think clearly. This is a good thing because not only will it help you face whatever you’re struggling with (if you choose to deal with it), but also you’ll be better prepared to find a solution (if there is one) and, more important, move past it.


So, how are you going to channel those frustrated feelings when they happen? I’d really like to know. Tell me in the comments below.

What exactly is frustrating you? Maybe my books about how to deal with difficult people and tough situations will inspire you?

If I can help, join our Facebook support group and let me know. Or if social isn’t your thing, book a Private 1-on-1 session and let me help you get you back on track.

3 thoughts on “Frustrated? 7 Ways to Kick It to the Curb & Feel Better

  1. Compartmentalizing I believe is what I tend to do the most. I also vent to friends/family as well if I’m in that mood and think my friends/family are okay to listen to me vent. But I think what I’m going to try doing more is eating baby carrots in an effort to prevent my sugary food cravings – because I have that bad!

    I’d also like to note that while compartmentalizing your frustration is a good way to tune yourself out of what’s bugging you… I usually due this by immersing myself in a video game, I wonder if when reality hits again and you’re faced with that same frustration it might be worse. It certainly seems like it for me.

  2. Great comments, James. We all cope with frustration in our own ways. What works for one person might not work for another. And I totally get that.

    The point of compartmentalizing is to stop your frustration in its tracks and prevent it from seeping into the other parts of your life. In some cases this will help get rid of your frustrated feelings so you can feel better. Or, in the example you described, your frustrated feelings come back and hit you harder. My hope is that if you’re faced with the same frustration, the time out you took to play video games would allow you to gain some perspective or cool down so you’re more prepared to handle it.

    If that’s not working for you, really think about what’s continually frustrating you and, most important, why it’s frustrating you. If you can thoughtfully find a healthy solution and you’re able to fix it, go for it. On the other hand, if there doesn’t seem to be a good solution or if you have no control, you should be realistic with yourself and recognize this as well. There are just some things in life we can’t control. If we struggle and fight them, we’re only going to make ourselves more miserable. Instead, we need to accept them and move on in order to live a happy life.

    In this case, when you step back and realize there’s nothing you can do and you truly have no control over the situation, you might want to consider letting it go and instead focusing your energy into something else you can control.

    If you have the strength and are able to let it go, your bad, frustrated feelings may leave too and you’ll be so much better off.

    I love your comments, James! Keep them coming.

    Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to explore in a future post, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

    1. I think you’re absolutely right Gayle, I need to focus my energy on something I can control because I have no control over what is frustrating me. Luckily this year I may have that opportunity with a friend planning on moving back very close to me. He’s got some plans on things he wants to do and, depending on my ambition might try to help him out with it.

      I do know what I need to do in order to completely get away from my frustration and I’m continuing to work toward that goal. So I will at least have that and if I help my friend this summer that as well to keep my mind busy!

      I really think I need a vacation out to the east coast though!

      Thanks for replying me so quickly Gayle and offering more sound advice!

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