Nine ways to cope with frustration

Frustration is an emotion that arises when you are feeling helpless. It’s caused by internal forces like a lack of self-confidence as well as external forces that get in the way of your progress. It can stop your productivity, damage your relationships, and cause you to give up on your goals.

While we may never get rid of the feeling of frustration, there are ways to manage it:

  1. Recognize your frustration. Verbalizing the negative feelings and expressing yourself in a private, constructive space that doesn’t exacerbate the situation can help you calm down and move forward.

  2. Lean in and evaluate why you are frustrated. Is there also something that is working? Can you focus on moving in that direction instead?

  3. Change your perspective. If you can, take a walk, go do something else, practice deep breathing or meditation.

  4. Brainstorm ways to solve the frustration. Sometimes just knowing you have options often alleviates that helpless feeling and moves you forward.

  5. Find the humor in the situation. Lightening the mood can help shift your perspective.

  6. Ask for help. Other people can help turn something negative into something workable.

  7. Practice empathy and patience. Remember, you can control your own reaction even though you cannot control other people.

  8. If you’re frustrated by the scope of the problem, try breaking it down into manageable bits. It’s less frustrating when it’s something achievable.

  9. Try the 1:1:1 method. Ask yourself: will this matter in one day, one month, or one year? If not, should it matter now?