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Hey, Colleague: How do you deal with frustration at work?

Accepting what you can control and reframing your thinking are just some of the tips to avoid the pressure from mounting.
woman at work
Breathwork and putting things into perspective can alleviate stresses at work.

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Hey Colleague, 

Lately, I’ve been dealing with a lot of problems with logistics and all my colleagues seem to be on the edge, including me. There are things I know I shouldn’t make a big deal out of but I can’t help it! Do you have any advice on what I can do so I don’t let the pressure affect my performance?

—Anonymous


We all have to deal with frustration in our lives but fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal to deal with this. If you are intentional about making a change, you have to be persistent. Try these tips to help you stay calm when the pressure starts to build up and you are feeling frustrated.

Reframe your thinking

Instead of blaming or having all-or-nothing thinking, cognitive reframing is being able to catch unhelpful thoughts and shift them into something positive. You can train yourself to reframe how you think and behave and how you interpret external stimuli. Ask yourself, is there another way to look at this situation? Or, what are other possibilities? Being aware of other perspectives will make you more resilient in the face of life challenges. 

Take a deep breath

Breathwork is scientifically proven to send a signal to your nervous system to calm you down and bring you back into a parasympathetic state so you become present and able to see the situation clearly. Do not respond right away. Instead, take a deep breath, step back and regroup your thoughts. Take some time to ponder over your frustrations. It's never a good idea to react at the moment. 

Aim to understand and not agree

Not everybody is going to think like you because we are all a sum of our experiences and existing beliefs. In order to overcome this, be open-minded and try to understand from someone else's perspective rather than resist. Everything you don't know is a chance to learn something new. 

Foster emotional intelligence

Being able to control, evaluate, understand, reason and interpret your emotions and those around you is a powerful skill. For some, it's an inborn trait while for others it has to be strengthened. 

Embody a beginner's mindset

A beginner's mindset is constantly questioning, and reassessing conventions and archetypes — there are many possibilities and they are always curious. This mindset allows you to see problems in a different light and come up with unorthodox solutions. 

Accept what you can't control

There's no point getting stuck on what you cannot control. For example, being stuck in traffic or somebody else's emotions. You cannot control your external world but the only thing you can control is how you react and respond to things. 

Put things into perspective

Remember anything you do now may not matter five years later. Don't let minuscule matters ruin your energy because there's a solution for everything if you do allow yourself to step back and find clarity. 

Identify your triggers

Your subconscious mind is constantly filtering information and stimuli from the environment to give you impulses or actions that only reaffirm the narrow lens of your pre-existing beliefs. Your subconscious actually controls 90% of everything you see, think, feel and do. 

You can overcome triggers by accessing this part of your mind by constantly questioning anything you may be resisting. When something at work triggers you, identify what it is. Be curious and explore where it came from — a past experience? Something that happened in your childhood? In fact, you should make it a practice to question all your thoughts and behaviours as personal development. 

I recommend journalling or talking it through with someone to help process these thoughts.