Frustration - An Emotional Rollercoaster!

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Most of us know what “frustration” means in our lives; Some of us may wake up demotivated in the morning feeling tired, angry, depressed, or just simply miserable to face another “empty day”.
The fact is; Frustration is UGLY when left too long to its own devises. I am not going to beat about the bush with all types of psychological terminology and scientific theories etc. It’s getting down to the human agony at the busy cross-road. Every single culture goes through this phenomenon. We hate it, we fight it, it makes us irritable. The questions are; What is frustration? Why do we feel frustrated? In fact: How do we combat it?

Submitted: March 07, 2017

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Submitted: March 07, 2017

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Frustration – An Emotional Rollercoaster!

“Following the Yellow Brick Road Phenomenon” – Wizard of Oz

 

Most of us know what “frustration” means in our lives; Some of us may wake up demotivated in the morning feeling tired, angry, depressed, or just simply miserable to face another “empty day”. 

The fact is; Frustration is UGLY when left too long to its own devises. I am not going to beat about the bush with all types of psychological terminology and scientific theories etc. It’s getting down to the human agony at the busy cross-road. Every single culture goes through this phenomenon. We hate it, we fight it, it makes us irritable. The questions are; What is frustration? Why do we feel frustrated? In fact: How do we combat it?

Unfortunately, we all share this at some degree in our lives, some more than others. External influences; politics, government officials, grumpy bosses, colleagues, educational institutes, neighbours, family etc.… This all leads to internal whiplashes to our egos; who and what we are as individuals.

We start measuring our self-esteem and present situation with those of others with a completely perverted mindset that everybody out there has more success, recognition, more love, more of everything than ourselves. Or, if frustration takes its normal course and goes amok, then we in for further heavy surprises; Namely the mind starts playing tricks on us. Our attitudes and behaviour begin to reflect what we believe to be “true”; namely, that we have failed to achieve our goals. Yes. It is a cruel process of events that start to occur, eating away at our personality, our thoughts, our hopes, dreams…who we are as humans, only to be left with a handful of crumbs.

Reality is nasty when we allow ourselves to engage in comparisons with the “haves and have nots” out there. Unfortunately, we are brainwashed day in, and day out. A typical example is a success story about a couple or a start-up firm who made their millions overnight. The story tellers tell us we can share in this amazing opportunity if we follow their method. “Pay 1000 Dollars and we can guarantee you immediate results!”  You pay your fee only to find out it is another scam!

Another myth is about us ladies out there who chase after every new, exciting anti-wrinkle, big-boob operation, diet treatment on the health and beauty market that swears to hell that their product, injections, cosmetic operations and wonder drugs really work! This feeling of been attractive and youthful in appearance at whatever costs to our health and category of acceptance, only feeds a vicious, money hungry industry. We don’t even need to discuss the persuasive advertising industry in detail here. But, I can recall those famous Black Cat Peanut Butter ads from South Africa that promised every skinny man (on the beach) that if they ate lots of peanut butter, the result will be a great, muscular body that would turn on all the females. Of course, most of us can also remember the AXE deodorant ads as well. Yes, the advertising world prey on our weaknesses for profit. The question is; “Why do we chase after empty promises when we know that the negative long-term benefits clearly outweigh the odds in the end? Is this rational thinking? Are we all gaga?”

Quite simply, it is because we are trying to defeat those negative waves of insecurity in us that make us unhappy. The pain is intolerable after each disappointment. We chase after every opportunity to experience some form of happiness in any form. But, our agony becomes worse as time goes by and the failures start counting their days. We feel defeated by our cruel world. Everything we do does not make a difference to our lives. Results are often, loneliness, jealousy, anxiety, neurosis, paranoia, hate, passivity, depression, blaming others for our bad luck, despair, aggression, dependency, addiction… Whew, the list is tedious. We feel trapped, imprisoned in our own brutal little world.

We have 2 types of frustration: Low Frustration Tolerance and High Frustration Tolerance

The difference between the two can be very significant. Those with a low frustration tolerance are more impulsive to express dissatisfaction and anger towards difficult challenges, critic from others or simple failures. They see their world as the “enemy” and often react in defence against this intruding monster. These individuals see themselves as victims, believing in a conspiracy against them, either by God or mankind in general. That is when things really go haywire!  I guess nobody enjoys the company of such persons in the long run.

Dalai Lama quotes: “Those who suffer from an exaggerated sense of their own ability and accomplishment are continually subject to frustration, disappointment, and rage when reality intrudes and the world doesn't validate their idealized view of themselves.“

Those characters who have a high frustration tolerance can adapt better with life in general. They learn to master their difficulties by choosing alternative routes to that problem. Quite simply, they fall back on Plan B or Plan C when Plan A does not function. (Hmm... I haven’t heard of anything beyond Plan C). In other words, they have learnt to master their environment accordingly, even if it means making many sacrifices along the way. Just so long as they don’t start throwing knives around them.

How to cope with frustration

This is when we as professionals draw a line between possibilities and impossibilities. WE cannot cure every frustrated human being out there. It is like throwing a lucky dice. You either win or you don’t.

There is no perfect recipe for happiness and success. Frustration is caused by so many internal and external factors. War, unemployment, recession, dictatorship, brutality, religion, propaganda, divorce, separation, deaths, accidents, poverty, bankruptcy, disasters, famine, hunger, punishments, refugees, imprisonment, addiction, extreme weather conditions, terrorism, poaching, modern day slavery, sickness … The list is long! All these play a great part in our mental condition and behaviour. It is very normal to blame our present status on those factors beyond our influence. The fact is, our survival chances are weakened with every radical change out of our control. Classical example is the press in every form. The media does not improve our present frustration levels. In fact, it might even worsen our situation.

Be more selective in how you interpret information from fact versus fiction. I have my abstinent days when I do not listen, read or think about the local or international news. I have the free choice not to measure my life and wellbeing based on the rules of the media world.  News can only sell if it is totally exaggerated. Again, journalists also need jobs. Nothing wrong with all that I guess, so long as it is based on authentic reporting. No need to contribute more to the crowd frustration levels! To be honest, I get to hear what’s going on out there through reliable and intelligent sources, such as my immediate clients and co. It is up to me to decide what I want to do with this information. That’s called free choice in a democratic country.

Okay, now this might sound terribly overwhelming for the most of us that there is no possibility of “light at the end of the tunnel”.  But as I previously mentioned in the above paragraph about “no perfect recipe for happiness and success”, there is a chance to “cheat” on frustration if it lies in our power for change; I have watched the film “Forest Grump” several times because it strikes an inner core in me that we are so unique as human beings. Why should we want to exchange our personalities or lives with someone else? Would that make us more loved, accepted, special, successful in the long run?

The bad news is: There is no “Yellow Brick Road” to follow. It is like searching for that gold pot at the end of a rainbow.

However, the good news is: Shake hands with your frustration. Make friends with him and then decide to invest your energy in yourself and the people who mean more to you than anything else in the world; Your loved ones (that is, if you still have any relationships left). When you subtract all those negative, outside factors from your life, you are left with an amazing realisation that two-thirds of your life has been wasted by following that “Yellow Brick Road”. The rest is up to you now . . .

 

 

 


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