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Dealing With Frustration - Body by Henson, brain by Seuss. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kelly J. Cooper

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Dealing With Frustration [Jul. 10th, 2007|04:14 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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How do you deal with frustration?

Sometimes I get so frustrated my heart aches.

I can't really figure how to get it out of me. To express it or funnel it or something.

I suppose the logical answer would be to avoid things that get me into this state, but that's pretty much impossible. I make quite an effort to minimize them, but I certainly can't eliminate them all together.

In the past I've punched pillows, screamed into pillows, screamed in my car (on the highway), cried, kicked things (usually hurting myself), and thrown my shoes at a wall over and over until I was out of breath. But they don't seem... sustainable? reusable? actually useful? I dunno. Maybe I'm just too tired for them.

(I'm not talking about sexual frustration, just general life frustration.)
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[User Picture]From: rmd
2007-07-10 11:16 am (UTC)
so, for me, one of the crazymaking parts of frustration is that feeling of being out of control, or unable to control things. in particular, i can end up with an emotional reaction based on a lifetime of things that i haven't been able to control rather than one based on the actual situation at hand. so sometimes what helps is to do something (either related or unrelated) that i *can* control. it'll settle out that "WAHHHH, I CAN'T CONTROL ANYTHING IN MY LIFE EVER" feeling down to the point where i'm reacting to the situation at hand and not every other situation like this in my life ever. or, you know, at least more so.
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[User Picture]From: metagnat
2007-07-10 11:56 am (UTC)
I do a lot of pillow-punchy, car-screamy things, myself. One of the things I do to get out frustration a bit is some kind of violent physical activity. Shovelling or carting cinder blocks around is good for this - anything that it doesn't matter if you really THROW it.

I also have a bad habit of taking it out on my loved ones. I'm trying not to do this, lately, ESPECIALLY when it's not their fault, which it usually isn't. But I get cranky. I get vicious. I try to start fights so there's something I can win. Then I get angrier and angrier, regardless of whether my fight-starting tactics work.

So, yeah. Not very helpful.

-E
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[User Picture]From: knot_frayed
2007-07-10 12:25 pm (UTC)

I may not be the model of sanity...

But I know a lot about frustration. :)

I tend to deal with it in a few ways. Not all will be helpful to everyone, and not all work for me each time either.

1) I like to sail, or go out on the boat. This option sux right now cuz the sailboat is up on blocks. I have taken out the rowboat - that's soothing as long as the weather is nice and the seas are not too rough.

2) Walking. I enjoy walking around the block, walking downtown, or just taking an aimless stroll. This actio sux pond water through a hose, however, if the weather isn't nice or if you have thrown your knee out of whack.

3) Exercise. This tends to make me reflective, and gives me a lot of time to think. Also - the amount of time one can actually spend using a nautilus, doing sit-ups, or other aerobic exercise is rather limited. It does have the added effect of making me physically feel good though.

4) Counting. Sometimes I'm frustrated or mad and I need to calm down NOW. I have been known to just sit and count for a few seconds. Counting up to 10 generally gets the initial wave over. Counting up to 100 takes some time and is very rare.

5) Blogging. Yeah - LJ is your friend. I have a few private posts that I've put up that just deal with frustration and how I *FEEL* about it. Doesn't help too much - but putting things down in words at least keeps me from dumping on some innocent person.

Like I said - some of these things work, most don't. I hope you feel better and find what works for you.

IMHO - you should load up that big ol' honkin' rubber-band gun and just take aim at someone. Or - fill up a super-soaker and go hunting squirrels. That always makes me giggle. It's hard to be frustrated when you giggle.
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[User Picture]From: miss_chance
2007-07-10 02:04 pm (UTC)
For me frustration requires physical activity that feels positive in nature. So the summer D. and I were angsting a lot before we broke up, I went swimming at Walden at least twice a week. It centered and grounded me, as well as burning the frustration out. I also bike frustration away, or go for long walks. For me, because I'm an "outdoorsy" kind a' gal, nothing I do in a building or in a car work. I need to get out of my head and walls seem to reflect me back into my head where as open space just takes it all and lets me keep putting it out there.

dunno if this helps or not, but that's how I deal. Sorry you're frustrated, babe.
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[User Picture]From: miss_chance
2007-07-10 02:08 pm (UTC)
oh yeah, knot_frayed mentioned counting. I wasn't thinking of the crisis-urgent-emergency-frustration moments. I breathe. Very, very deliberately and count my in-breaths and out-breaths. I start to breathe in and count, and if my mind wanders back to the thing that's frustrating me, off the breath, I re-start the count. It might take a couple minutes to get as high as three, but by then the crisis has passed.
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[User Picture]From: drwex
2007-07-10 02:28 pm (UTC)
I think you've gotten a lot of good answers, and I think it points to "frustration" being a bunch of things. How I deal depends on which of them it is

"angry" frustrated: I expend the anger on something inanimate.

"out of control" frustrated: I do something that I know I can control.

"panic" frustrated: I try to straighten my posture and relax major muscles as I go. It's an exercise I got from basic acting class, long ago.

"can't have" frustrated: I may give myself a small reward, and think about whether the thing I'm frustrated about/by is really that important. This one is hardest for me since I can't dispel the feeling - I have to live with it, let it flow through me.

Does any of this describe what frustration is like for you?
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[User Picture]From: foomf
2007-07-10 03:11 pm (UTC)
Breathe. If I notice I'm frustrated, I just stop and do zen breathing for a while.

Then, when I'm centered again, I start looking at what I feel, since frustration seldom has a single cause.

I sometimes do the "bab5 question and answer" ... who am I, what do I want, why am I here, where am I going?

(and for some reason this reminds me of Alfred Bester's book "Tyger, Tyger", published in the US as "The Stars My Destination".
Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you now? Where are you going?)
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From: tb
2007-07-10 03:12 pm (UTC)
I think the general idea is to put some distance (physical, intellectual, emotional) between yourself and the specific frustrating trigger. The specifics seem to boil down to do/think about something else for a while.

You can't avoid things that make you frustrated. It's easier to avoid the kinds of people who like to tell you not to get frustrated in the first place.

You might find some useful ideas here: What do you do with all the anger? They're talking about anger in a feminist context, but I think the suggested coping strategies can help with general life frustrations too.
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[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2007-07-10 03:22 pm (UTC)
Everything I was going to say has been said, so yay!
I'll echo, in particular: "walk," "breathe," and "do something immediately, visibly productive" (wiping down the kitchen counters is one of my defaults).
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[User Picture]From: missionista
2007-07-11 12:24 am (UTC)
I go for the walking and exercising thing. Also, having a friend or two that you can see/call just to vent about whatever it is can be helpful.
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[User Picture]From: egwenna
2007-07-11 02:23 am (UTC)
I'm in the walking crowd. I walk away and focus on breathing and muttering to myself about how I want things to be, talking myself down (in my head so I don't look like a complete weirdo). Opportunity permitting, I might clean, pull weeds or go to yoga as well. Productive things that take me out of the moment.
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[User Picture]From: whitebird
2007-07-12 06:22 am (UTC)
I used to buy calculators. Now, I'm not sure what I do.
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