Frustration is one of the most difficult emotions to conquer, and if its left unattended, it can turn into anger. After awhile, frustration builds up and fuels a huge blow up on those you love most. This is particularly common for parents of difficult teenagers.
When teens act defiantly or engage in other distressing behaviors, it can be difficult to cope. Rather than letting your anger show, it’s important to deal with your frustration as it comes. Here are a few healthy outlets that will help you avoid major explosions.
It’s best to relieve frustration as soon as it comes. Talk through the problem in a calm manner. Avoid yelling or using aggression as you speak. Instead, describe how a certain situation is making you feel and use problem solving techniques to get you through it.
2. Take a Walk
When you’re not sure you can talk through an issue in a civilized manner, take a walk. Exercising is a great outlet for your frustration, and when you return, you’ll be better able to face the situation head on without losing your cool.
3. Recognize Your Triggers
Everyone has certain triggers that increase their frustration for a situation. These triggers might include things like disruption of your quiet time, your kids talking in a certain tone of voice, or unkind words. These triggers elicit a frustrated reaction that can lead to anger. When you recognize your triggers, you can deal with the situation before you get angry.
It sounds cliché, but it works. Regulating your breathing can actually change the chemistry of the brain so that you respond in a much more civilized manner when things get stressful. Breathe deeply for several minutes or until you feel your frustration melt away.
5. Get Some Perspective
Look at a situation holistically. Is this something that’s worth getting upset over? Recognize that you have a choice to become angry, and whatever you choose will control the situation.
6. Relieve Stress
The more stressed you are the more likely you are to become frustrated. Focus on relieving that stress so you can approach situations with a calm and genteel manner. Exercising, taking breaks, indulging in “me time,” participating in breathing exercises, and other soothing practices can help you avoid the dreaded frustration explosion.
Dealing with frustration is difficult, particularly when your teenager is experiencing behavioral challenges, but you’re not alone. We can help your teenager work through his difficult time and teach you how to cope in the mean time.