Handling frustration


Frustration is part of life. Many a times, things don’t workout as planned. We face unexpected bottlenecks and unsupportive behaviours. We can’t do much about events that bring us frustration but we can certainly work on our response to these events. People have different strategies to handle frustration. A lady once told me that all she does is to pick up the phone and speak to a close friend. “ Once I take out all that is bothering me, I feel light and better. Moreover, such a conversation helps me appreciate the situation in a new perspective.” Some people listen to music, go for a walk/exercise or watch a film. In my case, I turn to writing. Once I finish a piece, I get a lot of positive energy that helps me overcome the frustrating experience and develop my response. So, there are different ways to deal with frustrations. There is no one-size-fit-all formula. We need to find out what works for us.


It is important to find our approach to handling frustation. In the absence of it, we end up taking our frustation on people close to us – our children, families, friends or colleagues. This is terrible. We all would like to avoid such situaitons. We hurt our well wishers as well as ourselves, and repent later. Let’s hope we can find our ways to handling frustation, and staying positive.. Sharing of experiences by readers is most welcome.


3 Responses to Handling frustration

  1. Indrani Gupta says:

    In todays fast paced world we get frustrated over trivial things like traffic snarls, domestic help not turning up, indifferent response at public dealing counters or not getting credit for the hard work put in the office. In my case whenever I am frustrated I tell myself that this a passing moment and there is always a next time when things will not go wrong It is a fact that we do not appreciate when things happen favourably for us but get frustrated the moment something goes wrong. So when one day things things do not work out as per our expectations remember the last maybe 29 days when everything was smooth and there was no problem. This will lighten the anger and unpleasantness of the situation. Moreover, I think getting too much upset over things that are beyond our control is not a wise policy to follow.

  2. Sonia Bansal says:

    An effective way to tackle frustration is having a positive attitude and fulfilling our share of responsibility with honesty and sincerity. I discuss the problem with near and dear ones. This helps to lighten the burden. Doing yoga on a regular basis is also a good option to defeat frustration because frustration causes anger, unhappiness, irritation and consequently builds stress. All these have an adverse impact and may lead to long term health problems. The solution lies with us only. We have to be determined not to get frustrated by following some simple tips like positive thinking, meditation, sharing it with friends and family etc.

  3. Dr. Rajesh Nair says:

    Dear Sir,

    If the frustration is long lasting and non- relenting, then it may lead to stress. And we all know that stress in omnipresent in our daily life. The continuous encounter with stress causes lot of pain, agony, trauma in our daily life and may lead us to psychosomatic disorders. These days such psychosomatic disorders are so prevalent in our society that we have made ourselves a permanent host to them. I think we should take a conscious decision to fight out stress from our lives.

    The impact of stress is not uniform; instead, the impact depends upon features of the social setting and upon characteristics of individual. Here the coping behaviors are important aspect of this stress process. Contemporary research on coping suggests it as “any response to external life-strains that serves to prevent, avoid, or control emotional distress”.

    In exploring coping and adaptation to stressors the importance of social resources, psychological resources, and coping responses can not be undermined. Social resources include support systems such as friends and family. Psychological resources involve personality characteristics such as self-esteem (positive feelings about oneself), self-denigration (negative feelings about oneself), and mastery (feelings of control). Coping responses involve what individuals do during a stressful event, such as trying to change the stressful situation, or the meaning of the event.
    The individual assessment of a certain interaction with the environment of concern, for an individual’s general well-being. Primary appraisal involves evaluating the situation, and judging whether it is considered harmful, threatening, or challenging. What is asked essentially is: “What is at stake”? “Do I have a goal at stake, or are any of my core values engaged or threatened”? If the encounter is seen as irrelevant and unimportant to an individual’s well-being the encounter will be interpreted as non-stressful. Secondary appraisal involves answering the question “What can I do?” in response to a stressful situation deemed harmful, threatening, or challenging by a primary appraisal. Personal resources such as social support, physical health, and financial situation are assessed in preparation for a response to the perceived stressor.

    Although there is no consensus on the nature or number of coping responses, however, two general categories of coping are described in the literature: problem-focused, and emotion-focused. Problem-focused coping involves direct action, which seeks to change or eliminate the stressor. It involves two areas: preparation (information-seeking, planning) and action (problem solving, active coping). Problem-focused coping focuses on actions taken towards the stressor itself. Planning involves collecting and assessing information, and evaluating solution options for taking action. Seeking social support (instrumental) is also important in active coping, which involves requesting assistance from friends and family (financial, advice, or child-care) in order to help with solving the problem. Emotion-focused coping involves changing one’s emotional response to the stressor. Emotion-focused coping often involves avoidance or distraction from stressors. A variety of activities, such as watching television, or leisure pursuits may be employed in order to avoid thinking about, and actively dealing with the stressor. Other emotion-focused techniques include: denial, isolation, rumination, wishful- thinking, self-blame, and seeking social support (emotional).

    Different people may employ different types of coping behaviours, ranging from problem focused coping to emotion focused coping strategies. The choice of coping behaviour can moderate the degree of which psychological distress results from social stress. Good coping skills can improve quality of life, and also strengthen the immune system.

    So this is the choice of an individual to take a conscious decision how he or she can improve upon their coping skills and fight out stress in/ from their daily life. Some time a little know how (knowledge) can help us in choosing our coping skill- be it humor, being religious, entertainment, venting etc. or choosing therapy like Yoga, biofeedback, some relaxation techniques as per our choice or personality type.

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