Turning Frustration Into Positive Action


Turning Frustration Into Positive Action

Can’t figure out what’s frustrating you? 

Start a frustration log, no kidding! Every time you feel any level of frustration, write down the time, the place, the circumstances, the way you felt and how you dealt with the situation. Within two to four weeks, you’ll see a pattern emerge. You’ll begin to realize the relationship between certain activities, certain people, certain times and these observations can lead to great improvements in the quality of your day and in the happiness you feel. [EXPERT]

An example: A guy noticed he was always coming home from work on Fridays in a bad mood. That didn’t seem right and he couldn’t figure out what was making him feel so badly. He kept his log and upon reflection, he noticed a couple of things. He was in a good mood when he woke up and left the house on Fridays. He was cranky by the time he left for home at the end of the day. He was still feeling good during his am coffee break but by lunch he was usually annoyed and frustrated. [EXPERT]

OK, what happened between coffee and lunch? He held a weekly status meeting, originally intended as a time saving tool to prepare for the week to come. He realized, it had evolved into a review of all the problems and unresolved situations that required his personal attention but that couldn’t be handled until next week. Upon realizing that he was carrying a tremendous amount of stress home for the weekend, he changed that staff meeting to Thursday afternoon. He spent Friday taking care of the critical issues so he could leave on Friday knowing the status of each situation. He arrive home feeling relaxed. See how creating new choices can help you use feeling frustrated as a clue that its time to do something differently? [EXPERT]


Once you interrupt the frustrating feelings by making a decision to do something about it, you’ll usually feel the excitement that results from knowing you’re taking responsibility for your own well-being. 

With all these possible obstacles to taking positive and creative action steps there are also many rewards.

It’s much more fun. Creative problem solving can create miracles.
Being creative and resolving problems is genuinely energizing and naturally motivating.
It feels good to be doing the right thing. Both the decision and the actual process of taking positive action makes us feel more powerful & more valuable.
Your self-respect will increase & your self-esteem will genuinely improve.
Sometimes…your actions will dazzle the people around you. (That’s always fun!) [EXPERT]

We can’t eliminate the causes of frustration in our lives but we can surely manage and minimize their negative impact on our health, our relationships and our happiness. After reading this article, I hope you will make the choice to turn your frustrations into positive action. One way to get started is to make a list of all the things that are frustrating you today. Go through the list and pick at least one alternative for each frustration. Do I accept it and reframe it? Do I change things by creating a new choice? Do I want to end or leave this situation?

Start with the small annoyances and distractions. This will help you gain some experience and confidence while you’re eliminating irritations…all at the same time. 

Copyright 2012 Cathryn Bond Doyle. Revised for YourTango.com

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