Into every life a bit of frustration will fall. Having some good strategies on hand to address rising levels of anxiety is not only healthy but can provide the opportunities to find solutions to the unresolved problems or roadblocks facing us. Dealing with negative emotions positively is a life skill everyone can use.
My day today was a very frustrating one. Maybe you can relate? The day starts out great and goes downhill from there. No amount of effort or exertion fixes the downward spiral and everything seems to be conspiring against you to prevent you from accomplishing the things you most wanted and needed to accomplish. Add to this a growing sense that time is running out and you have a first rate Recipe for Frustration.
First, the laundry (I must have a month or two supply going right now) got backed up because the loads take much longer to dry than they do to wash. At about 4 wet loads waiting to dry, I finally ran out of laundry baskets to put the waiting loads into. Is something not right with my dryer? I sure hope not. That’d be the refrigerator, the plumbing and now the dryer in the last two months. No, wait, in the last two weeks. Oh, please, say it isn’t so!
Next, I decided to get to work on this freelance writing project where I have to submit something fairly intelligent sounding and rather academic in a certain format and all. Well, it soon became clear to me that this was going to be an easier-said-than-done proposition. The Organization I am writing for has a really quality system for training their new writers, but after about six hours on tutorials and doing research in between transferring loads of laundry, fixing meals, and screwing around on Facebook, I am no closer to even having a decent keyword rich title and subtitle let alone a draft of an article (which was my goal) than I was when I sat down at 7:00 this morning.
Third, communication with a friend went sideways quite unexpectedly and this is always disappointing to me.
So, no laundry progress, no writing progress and tense situation with a friend; the frustrations were mounting. I’m also out of dog food, of all things, and that annoys me. I do NOT want to go to the grocery store today, Saturday, the worst day in the world to grocery shop unless you fully intend to spend your day there. So, now I’m seeing the last of my leisurely days of summer dissipating before my very eyes. One and a half days left till I report to work and have no more life till next June and I have nothing to show for it except a growing sense of frustration which will likely turn into panic if I can’t somehow find a sense of accomplishment somehow.
My day met all the criteria that define frustration according to the dictionary definition. I wanted to accomplish some things that were important to me. I was misread by Some People and that is irritating and disappointing to me. I have things to do that I do not want to do and others I want to do that are not working the way I’d like. Not one of the objectives I set for myself is going to be accomplished today.
About an hour ago, I noticed I was getting pretty tense and realized that I needed to do something to deal with my rising sense of frustration, disappointment and anxiety. I was, as they say, “spinning my wheels”. Accomplishing my goals wasn’t going to happen so I had to figure out a Plan B for myself. What could that be?
It was quickly apparent to me that in order to feel better about my day, I had to accomplish something even if that something was different that what I originally set out to do. Now, I’m no psychologist but it just made sense that if I could do something today, even something completely unrelated to my original goals, then, at least my day wouldn’t be a total washout. That’s why I started this post. You see, a post posted, is a finished task. It provided me with the opportunity to off gas the emotions, let them go and check off the task: write a post for The Wild Mind. Now that I’ve done that, I feel much calmer and more willing to revise my task list for today. I can let the frustrating emotions go and think more constructively about how I should use my time the rest of the day. I’m ready to entertain the thought that my goals for today might have been completely unrealistic. This kind of thinking was impossible an hour ago. Sadly, when we are flooded with emotions it is sometimes difficult to think clearly about what to do. Taking a break and doing something different can be a helpful strategy. It worked for me today.
Frustration happens. How do you deal with frustration? What strategies to you turn to in order to move through the emotions associated with the experience of coming to those frustrating dead ends or unresolved issues in life? Do share. I might try one of your ideas the next time I am feeling frustrated. After all, next time, my Plan B might not be so effective and I might have to come up with a Plan C…in which case…I’ll be using the list you generate!