Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday Tumbling Term~ Frustration and Fixes

The word for today is frustration. This is a carry over from my pastor's blog, but it fits very nicely here too. I can't plagiarize myself only repeat what I've already written. :o)

frus·tra·tion
noun
1. act of frustrating; state of being frustrated: the frustration of the president's efforts.
2. an instance of being frustrated: to experience a series of frustrations before completing a project.
3. something that frustrates, as an unresolved problem.
4. a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.


We all experience it at some time in our lives. That feeling that no matter what you do or try it just isn't working. The want to pull your hair out, want to runaway and hide until its all over. You know that feeling, right?

You can get frustrated with things like your job, your writing, your life, your situation, your finances, you're not succeeding, and people around you (some you don't even know). There are a thousand things in this world to frustrate you and trip you up. I know I do periodically like my rant last Saturday.

Notice one thing that is repeated in the above paragraph? It's Y-O-U or a variation of it. It's your frustration. It's all about you and things not going the way you want it to. How you feel about things. How you interact with situations around you. The only one who can change that is Y-O-U.

Isn't that the same thing as self pity? No, it's different. No, it's the same thing. So get off the pity pot already somebody else wants to use it!

I hear you. I've spent considerable amount of time on the pity pot myself with trying to get a handle on the feelings accompanied by my stroke and life in general. I've had a pretty hard reality setback with my stroke, but there are stroke survivors who have it much worse than me out there. My grandmother was stricken with seven strokes throughout her life. It gradually took everything away from her until she was almost in a vegetative state before she died with the seventh over five years in the progression.

Now for the fix, or some ways to stop frustration. This worked for me and it was years in the learning. God is teaching me patience with this added malady.
  • Step away from what is frustrating you. Even if it is going into another room.
  • Do something else not related to what you were doing. Continuing to punish yourself by keeping at it just makes the frustration worse.
  • Remember it can always be worse. For me when I feel myself slipping into a rut I'll remember a friend who is in worse financial, physical or emotional straits than me. You'll smaller after feeling frustrated by such petty things that frustrated you in the first place.
  • Find the root cause of why you are feelings frustrated. It may be something deeper than what you are frustrated with at the moment.
  • Make your expectations smaller. As a writer after a stroke, my mind is not functioning right. I couldn't figure out a way of combining all the experiences into a chapter book like I previously wrote. Solution- simplify the book into a collection of short stories.
  • Focus Smaller. As a writer with a goal of a 100K word novel in front of you and staring at a blank page, focus on a sentence, a scene, or a chapter end instead of 100K words.
  • Simplify. Don't try something that takes fifty gazillion steps, if you've never done it before. Think of a jigsaw puzzle. When you were putting one together for the first time you didn't start out with a 1000 piece puzzle or a 3-D. You worked up to it.
  • Allow yourself to fail attempts. Recognize that the first ten times you are not going to get it perfect. Learn from the failed attempts and make all new ones.
  • You are not alone. Take a look around you. There will be others.
  • Be kinder to yourself. Think of all the muscles it takes to frown, and how blotchy your face looks after a crying jag. How your screaming and yelling scares the neighbors, and how you will have to replace whatever you break.

I've just given you ten ways to stop frustration in its tracks. I don't expect you to do all of them at one time. Make a conscious effort to do one a week. In ten weeks you will be frustration free. Well maybe not totally, but you will be better armed against those feelings when you feel it start to well up inside you.

So are you feeling frustrated now?

Keep Writing and loving the Lord.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...



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jaspa haggings

J.L. Murphey said...

Jaspa,
I understand your frustration with your husband, but the only one you can actually change in this world is you. What did you do that changed your husband? What changes did you make to bring his focus back to you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Excellent tips! Frustration happens when we dwell on the problem rather than seeking a solution.

J.L. Murphey said...

Yep, it sure does. But better to step away first to get a break before defining the problem or even seeing the problem.

Deniz Bevan said...

Those are all wonderful tips. I've tried one or another at various times - the hardest part is remembering these things in the teeth of frustration.

J.L. Murphey said...

Deniz, that's why I say take one a week and practice. That's how habits are born.

Lara said...

Great advice! Always good to hear how to cope with frustration--sometimes the simplest tips are the best.

Sandra Chali said...

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Posted by. miss Sandra Chali