Everybody knows what it feels like to be frustrated. It’s as if the entire world throws up roadblocks to bother you. Here you’ll learn how to deal with frustration, and the best methods might surprise you. At Prayer for Anxiety, we examine all things through the lens of faith.
What Frustrates You And Why?
Some causes of frustration might be that you had it easy growing up, but now, with more responsibility, things are not as simple as before. Or perhaps you lived in a very controlled environment and were influenced by negative reactions to frustration. Finally, an environment of neglect may have caused an ongoing sensation of not having your needs met.
Stop and identify the things that cause you frustration. Do you get annoyed more with circumstances or people? Or maybe your own limitations cause dissatisfaction. Take a good look at your frustrations, then answer this question honestly: Why do these things or people bother you so much?
The Child Inside
What happens when a child doesn’t get what he or she wants? They pout, cry or throw a tantrum, and this continues until the child accepts limitations. Some common reactions to frustration are:
- Persistent irritability
- Lashing out, shouting or violent behavior
- Use of drugs or alcohol
- Aggressive driving
- Negative thoughts about others or oneself
- Wanting to give up or feeling depressed
Many times we get caught in a cycle which begins with feelings of frustration followed by our own negative reactions. Then we get frustrated with ourselves which magnifies the negativity until the next difficult moment comes along.
This process leaves open wounds that become more and more sensitive with each subsequent event.
Frustration Coping Strategies
Later we will look at a more faith based perspective, but here are some ways that you can try to deal with frustration.
- Modify your expectations
- Evaluate your reactions
- Don’t assume the role of a victim
- Plan ahead, be early and don’t procrastinate
- Keep your schedule as light as possible
- Try not to respond if your too angry. Talk later.
- Focus on one topic per conversation
- Seek to be as sincere as possible but understanding as well.
Meditate upon these suggestions. Which seem to fit best where you find frustration?
Just Be Patient?
We’ve certainly heard, or thought, that we have to be more patient. But sometimes it’s nearly impossible. However, when we understand that the enemy attacks us through our own limitations, then we can see things more clearly. In the Bible, Satan is named as the accuser. He puts terrible thoughts inside our heads. How many times have you heard yourself say/think something like:
- He/she always disrespects me.
- Things never go my way. I’m always unlucky.
- He/she never sees things my way.
- He/she deserves punishment of some kind.
- It’s not fair that I have to deal with this person/situation.
- It’s all their fault.
- I always make a mess of things.
Do you see a common thread here? All these statements deal with some sort of finality or condemnation. As the devil likes it, there’s no room for hope. Instead, the evil one offers the idea that control will solve everything. But he also knows that we can’t possibly control the world so we are left with the despair of frustration.
The Power Of Patience
Patience is power. This realization can help you greatly when you look back at the statements of condemnation. Instead of letting someone or something get the best of you, you can take a step back to a position where you are truly in control. This does not mean that you won’t feel strong emotions, but you can be in command of them.
Love And Service Are Even More Powerful
Even though patience is a powerful ally, a deeper meaning can be found when you assume a position of love and service. When things don’t go your way, offer your disappointment up to God instead of getting mad. Or when someone attacks you, listen to their heart as it is crying out for help. It might be ugly, but the reality is that their soul suffers from a lack of peace.
Resist the temptation to add more hurt and be an instrument of healing instead.
This process is nearly impossible to do on your own. Some people are naturally capable of this type of empathy, but for most of us, it’s hard. The best way is to ask God repeatedly in prayer for clarity. You can ask him:
Dear Lord, free me and heal me of my frustrations and the wounds they have caused. Let me have a merciful heart like yours. Let me serve those that frustrate and attack me. Allow me to be able to see what they really need so I can then offer them hope and peace. Make me strong in your mercy and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This doesn’t mean that you let people walk all over you. Strength from patience, love and mercy are infinitely superior than trying to be in control. Instead you react reasonably and with wisdom. You find solutions instead of looking for a fight. The threat of despair is dispersed with the Spirit of truth.
Only He Can Change You
Some things can only be changed by God’s grace. We are stubborn creatures by nature. Remember, God’s Spirit is the power by which Jesus was resurrected. Trust in God’s ability to transform you – this inspires others to change. If we give of ourselves then we tap into something miraculous. It takes time, dedication and humility, but love always triumphs over control.
Go to the Lord frequently and faithfully, especially when you make a mistake. When you see how frustrating you can be to others, Jesus pours out his forgiveness upon you. His mercy fills you and overflows abundantly bringing freedom and truth to all those around you.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
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