Gratitude: The answer to frustration

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Are you finding yourself frustrated a lot? Your kids, your home, your job, your technology… none of it seems to be going your way? There may be something you can do about it, even without changing the situations you’re in, and it involves changing the things you’re focused on.

It is critical to use gratitude to fight frustration. A lot of times our instinct is to try to fix frustration by focusing on it, by trying to control the situation, by trying to be the best at what we do…but this won’t help half so much as taking the focus off of the frustration.

So how do we practice gratitude? What are some of the things you can do? Let’s look at some popular example sources of frustration, and some popular gratitude responses.

  • If your computer won’t stop crashing… Take a deep breath. You have a computer, that’s a gift in and of itself. And what’s more, you likely have the resources you need to call for technical support, or for help you need to fix it. Just by focusing on these things you’ve taken the power out of the frustration.
  • If your spouse is critical… Take a deep breath. Remind yourself how you first fell in love. Remind yourself of the value of looking at things from another’s perspective, and take a moment to evaluate the criticism. If it’s helpful, use it, if it’s overly critical maybe they’re going through something you could help with.
  • If the internet is annoying you… Take a deep breath. Grab a book, take a break.   You don’t have to be online all the time, and this can majorly take away from tension.
  • If you’re stuck in traffic…. Take a deep breath and turn on a song you like. Appreciate the time that you have between work and home to relax and realize it’s just a few extra minutes to look out the window.

Chances are you get the idea by now. It all begins by taking a step back, and focusing on what you have, not on what you don’t. This isn’t the same thing as “thinking happy” it’s merely focusing on another element of the situation. You can have frustration and joy in the same situation, but by choosing to focus on gratitude and finding something to be thankful about, you’ll turn your mood around in no time.

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