I’ve harboured frustration my whole life. I grew up bitterly asking “When is it my turn?” over and over and over in my head. By the time I got to my mid twenties, my frustration and anger with the universe had grown so large that I felt like I was going to break. Holding on to all those negative emotions was exhausting. I couldn’t go on living like that.
For one year straight, I did intensive self work: learning how to control my emotions and how to change my perception of the world. I was lucky enough to have not one, but two life coaches on hand to help me realise my goal of moving to the UK. It worked in the end, but even with all the self care I practise and self work I do, that awful impatient feeling occasionally comes back to haunt me. The difference nowadays, is that I don’t let it own me.
You know what kind of frustration I’m talking about. The kind that doesn’t seem to dissipate no matter how much deep breathing you do or how many walks you take. It requires more than just applying a constructive coping technique. It requires an emotional release. Here are ten things that work for me, and that I hope will help you too.
Listen to music that makes you cry your eyes out
Let it all out for as long as you need to. A good crying session will leave you feeling light and refreshed. Nick Drake and Elliott Smith do it for me.
Write it out
Putting your feelings and thoughts into words on paper will allow you to pinpoint exactly where your frustration is coming from. Don’t think about the actual act of writing and don’t censor yourself. Stream of consciousness journalling every day is the best way to figure out what your true desires are.
Go deep into the woods and primal scream
If you don’t live near woods, scream into a pillow. It feels so ridiculous that it will make you laugh.
Pour your heart out to someone who loves you and who you know won’t judge
Even better if it’s someone who’s brutally honest with you. It’s so important not to hold feelings back. Venting as a means of figuring out a solution is a good thing. This works just as well over the phone or social media as it does in person.
Consume true crime documentaries, podcasts or in written form
It will put your life into perspective. It sounds awful but I promise you that it will.
Watch a horror film or a really disturbing film
This is another thing that will put your life into perspective, and the adrenaline will distract you from your thought process. Horror films rarely frighten me (I find them comforting) but it’s such a treat when they do.
Listen to your “You can’t tell me what to do” music loud
What I mean by this is the musicians whose work makes you feel motivated and determined. Music that makes you feel like you can do anything, survive anything. For me, it’s Nine Inch Nails.
Immerse yourself in a good novel or lose an hour in a bookshop
Distract yourself by absorbing yourself in someone else’s world or by looking for your next adventure. Books are full of inspiration. You might even find the solution to your problem in there.
Write a plan for the future
First, write down what you want your life to be like, then work backwards writing actionable steps of how to get there. Include yearly, monthly, weekly and daily steps. If there’s something that you can do today, do it.
Have a nap
Give your mind and body a break. Sometimes a nap is the only thing that will work.
How about you? How do you relieve stubborn frustration and what’s your experience with it?