Underlying the emotion of frustration is the irrational belief ” I should not have to suffer discomfort.” This is often backed up by similar demands, such as ” the world must change to suit me” or ” Everybody else must change , not me”. As I often good-humouredly say to patients,’ Good luck with those demands!’ It is useful to redefine frustration as disturbance/discomfort anxiety’ in order to distinguish it from ‘ ego anxiety’.
In the latter, we are making some demands on the situations. When frustrated about something , we are usually demanding that other people or situations change so that we don’t have to suffer discomfort. This relieves us of the burden of having to change something in ourselves , or of accepting that it is not always possible to change circumstances , and that we must learn to adapt.
LOW FRUSTRATION TOLERANCE
To develop this skill , we must introduce another term:’ frustration tolerance’. This defines our capacity to suffer discomfort . None of us likes discomfort but we all have different endurance or tolerance levels. Those with high frustration tolerance levels can accept short-term pain for long term gain.
Those with high frustration tolerance levels can accept short – term pain for long term again. Those with low frustration tolerance (LFT). However are not prepared to put up with short-term pain , yet still desire long term-gain.
A simple example of this might be where I might remain frustrated with my fitness regime, yet refuse to get off the couch.
So the real key to developing the skill of how to manage discomfort is to acknowledge that frequently in life we must learn to accept short-term pain if we wish to achieve long-term gain. Once you learn how to put this concept into practice in your everyday life , you will no longer struggle to deal with discomfort or expect the world or life itself to change to suit you.
To learn how best to achieve this objective, I suggest the following two frustration exercises.
Frustration exercise one:
I will complete in article 3 soon.
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