Stress Management and Mastery: Frustration or Fascination

"Learn how to turn frustration into fascination. You will learn more being fascinated by life than you will by being frustrated by it." _Jim Rohn

Simply stated, feeling frustrated is saying that we just don't like what life is handing us right now, today, this week, this year, this lifetime. Nothing wrong with that necessarily, but like so many other things, it's our response to frustrating events that makes the difference.

Let's take a closer look at how to get frustrated and then at a few more productive responses to frustration.

How to get frustrated

Take each and every obstacle that is thrown in your way very personally. Be convinced that the slow driver in front of you is doing it on purpose to you; perhaps he was even sent to find you.

Approach life with a strong sense of entitlement. Believe that you deserve to get your way no matter what.

Blow everything out of proportion. Frustrations come at us in varying degrees: On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the best and 10 being the worst, respond to every event as if it's a 10.

Live life in a constant state of stress, don't slow down, and definitely don't develop any patience.

Get addicted to the rush of anger that comes with frustration.

Consequences of frustration

Live in a state of perpetual anger.

Say and do things you later regret.

Face the same problems over and over again without ever discovering any solutions.

Eventually this level of stress will affect you physically in some way.

You teach your kids to react the same way.

How to get fascinated

Reframe obstacles as "challenging learning opportunities."

Ask better questions. Instead of asking "why does this always happen to me" or "how dare they do this," practice asking this question: "How can I creatively solve this in a way that I might learn something new and that will benefit myself and others.

Another good response would be: "Well, isn't this interesting. I wonder how we are going to solve this one?"

Stop reacting and respond. Reacting shuts down your brain. Responding jump-starts your creativity.

Stress management expert Tim O'Brien uses the QTIP technique: Quit Taking It Personally. I've actually suggested carrying a Q-tip in a pocket as a reminder. Sounds silly perhaps, but it works.

Look at the things that get in your way as simply events, nothing more. This one really saved me recently when I had spent hours on the previous three nights updating our Quickbooks files. Later, when I brought up the file, it looked as if we had lost hours of work and eight months of data.

I told myself, and my wife, that this was only an event. That allowed me to have the presence of mind to remember I have a friend who is an expert in Quickbooks. He showed us how to find the data. We solved the problem and diffused my urge to throw the computer out the window.

Like most things in life, we have a choice here. This time it's between frustration and fascination.

Choose wisely.

For more tips and tools on stress management and mastery visit Tools for Successful Living

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