“I’m supposed to turn in this document to my supervisor, whom I can see in person. Now for some reason I need to submit it electronically and although I’ve tried 3 different times to scan it in, none of them have seemed to work…. Also why do I have to click 7 different buttons to print something? I thought technology was supposed to make life easier? That’s my biggest struggle right now, why are things so hard?”
Can you relate?
If we are so advanced and have gained so much knowledge, have so many resources available and so much abundance in our world why do we often feel such frustration in our lives?
We all experience it from time to time in our work, in our relationships, and even in our view of the world. If we are not careful this line of thinking can pull us into a “Pit of Despair,” to quote the Princess Bride. When we ask these questions it is often rooted in a deeper sense of dissatisfaction with life. It could be the recent death or illness of a loved one, a financial stress at home, falling short of our goals in business, or being disappointed with our own perceived place in life. There is a poisonous root that if unchecked can undermine or destroy every area of our life. In these times we need a way out!
Here are 3 strategies to overcome frustration and regain a clear head.
1) Recognize that the problem in front of us is not the real problem. The fact that we have to click 7 times to print a document will not ruin our life. Instead we have believed a lie that we are a victim to the circumstances. We have allowed our attitude to be controlled by external factors and have ignored the mounting internal pressure. Instead of looking out we must look in. What are the unresolved frustrations in my life that I am allowing to spill over into my relationships? In identifying these patterns we now have a clearer picture of where the real help is needed.
2) Set aside time to connect with the ones you love. When we are frustrated we are usually tempted to go in two unhealthy directions. We either shut down or we press harder. Shut down might look like binge watching Netflix or ignoring texts, emails, necessary household chores for extended periods of time. In this time we move past healthy rest and recreation into avoidance. Pressing involves a greater intensity toward tasks that are not connected to those we care most about. Whether our response is to shut down or press both disconnect us from meaningful relationships with our spouse, children, and friends. When we find ourselves doing this we can choose a healthy response by setting aside intentional time to connect with our closest friends. It might look like going for a walk, playing catch, visiting a coffee shop, making love, a board game night, a spiritual retreat, a family movie night, etc… The important component is to be intentional about who we are connecting with. These times refresh us and give us the perspective we need to tackle the challenges we face at work.
3) Intentionally disconnect from social media. I love social media and the opportunity that it provides to influence and inform! However, it also can consume our time and energy in an unhealthy way if we are not mindful. The world is working to create in you a sense of “perceived scarcity” (Michael Hyatt), when in reality we live with historic abundance. In frustration we are more aware of our failures and less aware of our successes. Often social media will exaggerate that difference as your scroll through the highlight reel of others’ lives. Instead put the phone down and do something that nourishes your soul and body. For example, read a book, take a nap, workout, or call a friend.
Most importantly give yourself some grace for the challenges that you are facing in life. We all have moments that reveal the weakness of our humanity. I find it helpful to remind myself that the moment in the day is not the entire day and the season the chapter of my life is not the final chapter. Things can change and maybe the seeds are being planted in my life to help facilitate that change. Therefore there are some lessons to be learned and if we will keep our eyes open there are some lessons for us to learn.
Have you found yourself overcome with frustration? Will you set aside 5 minutes today and make a plan to connect with the ones you love? Are there other strategies that you’ve used in your life? I’d love to hear what has worked for you.
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