The Key to Understanding Frustration


I get frustrated a lot it seems, particularly around when things take too long or I can’t seem to get something done. Any pleasure I had in the process is done and I’m ready for the work of it all to be over. My frustration also seems to turn to anger sometimes too. It’s where I feel like I need to double down on my effort because I’m failing at something and that truly does get me anger at times. All of my life I saw frustration as this negative force that was telling me how poor I was performing.


Our emotions are complicated and unique to each of us. What frustrates me doesn’t bother my husband at all. What it feels like to be frustrated can also be unique. When that feeling starts to creep through my body I first feel it in my stomach as butterflies. Then my body temperature rises, I have increased adrenaline pumping through my body in response to the pressure I’m feeling. My mind races and my heart beats faster. Words I use are sharper like pointy daggers that can cut quick. My focus is singular. Sleep, self-care, what I eat all take a backseat to the frustrating thing I’m honed in on. It starts to feel like a war between my mind, body and spirit.


During this experience I have found is where I emotionally eat. My whole being is accelerated in adrenaline and I’m backfilling it with food, whatever I can put my hands on, to try and keep it going. It feels like being wrapped into a cyclone of activity where I cannot move fast enough to keep up with it all and yet it doesn’t stop me from trying. Unfortunately it also leaves me drained, exhausted and depleted too. Yet I have this undying desire to defeat frustration and know that this time I’m going to succeed at it if I only can keep going.


Frustration always wins, by the way, when you do battle with it. Every single time. It creates more frustration when it does too until we are in this endless vicious cycle of more and more frustration. We soon feel there is no end in sight because we can no longer see the original goal. All that is in front of us is this whirling winds of frustration keeping us in this current battle in front of us. We hope there is something good still on the other side and that we can survive this to see it. It doesn’t matter what started the frustration, our family, job, career, bills, debt, lack of something. Frustration strikes from a multitude of places in our lives and can grow from any of those points if we let it.


It has taken me a long time to realize that rather than battling frustration head on, I needed to see it as something other than my enemy. I felt programmed to think of frustration as this negative force to be slayed and overcome and yet it wasn’t that. Frustration was generating from my own being. It came to life from my own response to circumstances, events and experiences. I manifested this monster and then went to war against it believing it an external force when it really was coming from inside me. My own creation was this very tall, scary monster staring at me in fierceness that I labeled frustration.


Seeing frustration as an emotion meant I needed to different tactic in dealing with it too. Understanding our emotions leads us to not only personal growth but an end to many patterns and habits in our life we once thought impossible to change. At the heart of frustration is the need and desire we have of something we think we want. Most of the time frustration is nothing more than a signal to us that we are going in the wrong direction or going about it in a way that is not right for ourselves. It isn’t something I want to hear and don’t believe so I continue pushing against my own will to make it happen anyway. I know better despite this growing frustration I have with what is in front of me, so I think.


When we let our thoughts overtake what our instinct is telling us, that’s where frustration is birthed. We break the connection between our whole being, the gentle web between our body, mind and spirit. We override the commands of this program and our mind takes over. In response our body and spirit give us signs through increased body temperature, adrenaline, faster heart beats, sleepless nights and emotional eating that something isn’t right. I so often ignored those signals, thinking this had to be the right direction or approach. This is what someone told me would work so why isn’t it! Why does it work for others but not me? All the questions that raise the worry, doubt and confidence in myself to overcome the challenge in front of me.


It is enough to make each of us question what we are really made of. The ramifications of undealt with frustration are self-doubt, depression, obesity, insomnia, poor diet, lack of exercise, hopelessness and more. We then blame these symptoms for other problems in our life and frustration grows larger until we are overwhelmed, stressed and burned out. Our adrenaline tank is depleted and we now have adrenal fatigue in our body. The signals keep coming to illness, disease, anxiety issues, and more. These are all built up signals from the break in that web between our body, mind and spirit that have accumulated to the point we no longer even know what we were originally frustrated by.


It has taken me a long time to understand frustration doesn’t have to be my enemy. I still feel it but I’m learning to recognize the signals and address them before they eat me up. For me frustration is the signal that I’m needing to listen to not only my thoughts but also my instinct. Having a good instinct comes from learning to listen to your body. The things that make your hair tingle, butterflies stir and awareness of energy around you. It doesn’t mean my instinct is always right but listening to it allows my body and mind to work together more cohesively. Respecting my whole being in the process of working through circumstances in my life changes my approach and decision making processes. I am more aligned to what I need from an experience and able to make decisions from a centered balance rather than desperation mindset.


I like to refer to this as learning to do what is right for myself. It is the realization that what works for someone else may not actually be right for me. The beauty of life is in developing my own journey and releasing what is not exactly right for me along the way. It generates a different energy around me that allows for boundaries instead of walls or barriers which further reduces the trigger of frustration that I can generate. In the process of learning to do this I have also had to stop thinking I needed to reach the next goal, achievement and overcome the next challenge to enjoy my life now. It is not that goals are bad but that are those the goals I really want to work on? I become in charge of my own destiny.


When frustration starts to stir in my body I know it’s time to listen. I feel the ground move that someone else is trying to control my end goal. When I start listening to people and noises around me telling me which direction to go and I try it and it doesn’t work, I get frustrated. It is not that their advice isn’t good but rather it wasn’t good advice for me. The art of this is learning to balance the seemingly good advice with a healthy dose of my own based on knowing what my body and mind are telling me.


Shifting the energy of frustration from negative to positive is what it means to start living more naturally. It is where we uncover our own identity and reconnect the web between our body, mind and spirit. I noticed myself being calmer, less reactive and my words softer even when things were erratic and chaotic around me. My own heart beat didn’t have to beat faster in response to it anymore. I no longer let myself be defined by the circumstances I was in but rather where I was going with them.


Are you open to learning to use frustration as a positive in your life? Check out the upcoming classes at dragonspitapothecary.com/book-online

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