Listen to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Expel-The-Frustration-e1e2hoh
That feeling balled up inside. It starts to creep up from your stomach to your throat. The burning sensation reaches your mouth and the fire comes blasting out.
Frustration in your job, frustration in your home, frustration with friends & family, frustration in your life.
And then, if you’re anything like me, guilt. It envelops you. You can’t look at your partner, you can’t look at your kids, and you certainly don’t want to see your reflection in the mirror.
Why did I let myself reach this level again? Why can’t I better manage my frustrations before they escalate to rage? Is there something wrong with me?
Anger and frustration are natural responses to situations. The body has its own physical response to stress, such as increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and activating the brain. In particular, the amygdala switches on and kicks into high gear when frustration builds to anger. This triggering of events is a biological process found in all humans. You’re normal.
However, in order to get rid of these feelings, especially when they’re unfounded , the old adage of ‘punching your pillow’ isn’t the best of ideas. Expelling frustration through violence only acts to reinforce the anger.
Instead, try some healthier ways to push through these emotions:
- Deep breathing. Taking 5 deep inhales with your nose and exhaling through your mouth can do a world of good when you’re feeling hot. And if you can’t do it in the present situation, leave the room and sit alone for a few.
- Exercise. Do something that makes you sweat. Whether that is a brisk walk or run, anything to get the bad juju out and the endorphins rising. You could also try a routine in the comfort of home, like a quick round of jumping jacks, push-ups, and maybe some hand weights if you’re feeling powerful. Throw on some motivating tunes to help push you to move.
- Resort to humor. Find something funny in your surroundings. Laugh at how angry you are feeling. If there are other people in the room, maybe recall something hilarious they previously did. Or, if you really need a good belly chuckle, ask Alexa to tell you a joke 😉
- Do a quick ‘worst case scenario’ visualization in your head. If I explode right now, who will be hurt? If I don’t respond to this situation, what will be the outcome? Can I buy myself more time if I simply walk away? Or, if this is a timely situation, will my immediate outburst fix anything? This one is the hardest to put into action, but with practice, will get easier with time.
Next time someone pokes the bear or you’re at your wits end with your boss’s late night call, try one of these tactics before the volcano erupts. You’ll be glad you did.