Frustration is a real emotion and as we discussed in our last email, it is an emotion that often leads to a secondary emotion – anger. Anger is such an active emotion and when we lash out in anger, we don’t get the desired result we are after. Anger often gets us into more trouble than if we just dealt with the primary emotion, FRUSTRATION. 

Frustration has to do with a belief. We believe that things are not the way they should be so we feel frustrated.

Does that ring true to you?

My kids aren’t doing what they should be doing.

The economy is not doing what it should be doing.

The government is not doing what it was set up to do.

My spouse is not doing…

Do you see where this is headed? Have you had any of these thoughts?

I have mentioned my friend Doug Nielsen before, he suggested to me that every problem we face is a problem with thinking.

I believe Doug is right.

Remember how we defined frustration and that we get frustrated when we think or believe that things are not the way they should be.

Well, you wouldn’t feel frustrated if you thought something else.

We have to address our thinking in order to get the emotion under control.

Try this out, “Things are just the way they should be.”

It’s not to say that they are the way you desire them to be, and that’s o.k., but it is also another email. We’ll take that on later.

Right now, let’s stick with, “Things are just the way they should be.” Say it out loud. Pay attention to your face. If your eyebrows are all scrunched up, then your brain isn’t going to believe what you are saying. Relax your face, smile a little, and say it.

I know, it is a little awkward and uncomfortable at first, but try it. Your frustration level should diminish.

If your brain tries to argue with you and says, “Oh, but…” it is trying to dismiss what you introduced. Go back, relax, and tell yourself things are as they should be. 

If we believe that, then we aren’t fighting against what is. 

Do you see how much time and energy gets wasted when we try to fight what is in front of us?

It isn’t changing when we have our defenses up. 

We accept what is and then we can move to creating something different, which we will take on in our next email.

Till then, practice your calm face and calm voice, “Things are just the way they should be.”

Dr. Paul