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4 Ways to Develop Frustration Tolerance

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For most, leading a balanced life—between work and play, time with loved ones, friends and for self-care—is the goal. But the realities of life make attaining that balance sometimes seem impossible.

Major life disruptions, like losing a loved one, going through a divorce, having a serious illness or losing a job, can be stressful and emotional. While some can manage those emotions well, for others, these changes create feelings of frustration and upset which can result in panic, anxiety and frantic attempts to restore order.

Low frustration tolerance can lead to chronic feelings of depression, anxiety and dissatisfaction, so it’s important to strengthen your ability to tolerate frustration. Doing so means you’ll be better equipped to deal with life’s unpredictability, ultimately helping you overcome obstacle. Optimal Frustration Tolerance, a term associated with Self-Psychology, has to do with our ability to manage feelings of frustration in ways that lead to emotional growth and the development of new coping skills.

Here are four ways to strengthen your frustration tolerance.

  1. Accept feelings of frustration. Frustration is a normal human emotion. The more you fight it, the longer those feelings will linger.  
  2. Ride out frustration. Sitting with our feelings before reacting is necessary for finding effective solutions to issues. Being emotionally overwhelmed can be a hindrance to finding those solutions.
  3. Practice mindfulness. Frustration tolerance is a learned behavior. Mindfulness helps with being able to slow down your mind and body when feeling anxious. Ultimately, you’ll be in a better place to come up with better solutions to obstacles. 
  4. Talk to a mental health professional. Therapy can be a great way to examine and improve frustration tolerance.

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