Smrti-bhramsad buddhi naso buddhi nasat pranasyati
We humans are constantly being challenged. How we deal with those challenges also shapes our personality. Each time the world forces itself upon us demanding, it is also challenging us to own the responsibility of our emotional reaction. One such challenge that we often face is to handle frustration. It is an emotion that occurs when one is blocked from reaching the desired goal. The block can be a physical or a mental one. Dealing with frustration has always been one of the worst nightmares for both teenagers and adults.
Though life teaches us to tolerate a little frustration without becoming too upset about it. Nevertheless, it keeps us proactively engaged with new goals and challenges. We all at one point or another had found ourselves face to face with frustration.
I had been there many times but I still remember this incident when I couldn’t find a way to vent it and all hell broke loose. Flustered and irritated, I couldn’t notice the steam building up. And with every disapproval, it was expanding within me until I exploded under the pressure. It took me a lot of time and effort to bring peace and to rebuild the relationship that my anger almost damaged. I learnt my lesson the hard way that suppression can never help me get away from that emotion that I am running from.
I also realised how frustration and anger travel hand in hand. It is like a chain reaction and we have to stop it before it gets triggered(the above shlok also warns us the same).Who’s to blame then? Who needs to unlearn habits that cause such unpleasant episodes? A good analysis following an emotional storm will lead us to the realisation that nobody other than our state of mind was guilty of that painful experience. The reason was never the situation/thing/goal/person. Once we discover this, we will learn to respond to such situations. Like we discussed before, repression is never an option but we can practice healthy ways of dealing with it. It will be challenging at first, but overtime being mindful of that sliding point, we can learn to change the habitual reaction to a more positive discharge than a negative one.
Another observation is that we stay frustrated when we get to thinking that we are going nowhere. That happens when we start feeling powerless and what triggers that emotional state is when we only focus on the problem. I mean, we should look for ways to solve the problem in hand. By understanding the cause of frustration we can direct our energy to sketch a goal to resolve it. I know it is not easy but it is not difficult either. Look at the damage we cause to ourselves and disappointments we bring to our dear ones. Why I say dear ones, because oftentimes, we indulge in displaced aggression. It is easy that way, isn’t it? When we can’t yell at the boss then we vent it at the spouse or someone close.
It is also unrealistic to think we can rid ourselves of this dangerous thing called frustration. It is not always dangerous, it motivates us to resolve things which are standing in between us and our goals. They only turn against us when they bring with them excessive emotional feelings of deep dissatisfaction and vanity. Have you noticed what Chronic frustration does to people? Their self-image deteriorates and goals that they chose would look impossible and unrealistic then. Some of them fall into a state of perpetual apathy.
Try it for yourself. Next time when you feel frustrated stuck in traffic, ask yourself if there’s something you could do, like finding another route. If there is nothing you could do, then ask yourself is it even worth your anger and time. You grow frustrated by over-thinking and over-analyzing anything that is not under your control. When the block is external and if there’s nothing could be done, we just have to wait. Even that quality of ‘waiting’ can teach us something, isn’t it?
And now it is our choice, whether to succumb to despair or take control of our life. If we don’t manage our emotions, it will start managing us and then life wouldn’t be a pleasant experience.