If you struggle with frustration and anger related to trauma or loss,
you may try to hide your feelings in the hope that they will go away.
Unfortunately, intense feelings must be recognized and dealt with; they don't
just go away on their own.
You may become angry and blame others for what has happened, even
though it is not their fault. This is called displaced anger. You may get angry
with a higher power, such as God.
Kris Oser, 37, of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., is an email fiend. A single
mother and director of communications for a market research company, she has to
be immediately accessible to executives and the news media.
That means Oser is often on the phone and messaging several people at the
same time -- and that can lead to trouble. In one recent gaffe, she mistakenly
emailed a reporter at The Wall Street Journal instead of her best
friend, asking her to pick up Oser’s daughter from school.
Frustration and anger affect people emotionally and physically. You
may work out these feelings by talking with someone or through physical
activity (such as running, cleaning house, or punching a pillow). Working out
frustration and anger in a physical way helps relieve muscle tension and may
reduce restlessness and irritation.
Unresolved frustration and anger may grow until you are not able to
deal with them. You may then yell, scream, or hit someone or something.
Unexpressed frustration and anger can also cause other problems, such as
physical illness or
The first step in overcoming frustration and anger is to recognize
that you are feeling these emotions. Many people were taught as children not to
express frustration and anger. If you are feeling bottled up inside and are not
sure what to do about it, try:
Talking with someone you trust. Talking may help
you become more clear about what you are feeling.
Talking out loud
to yourself. You can even use a recorder and play back what you've
recorded. This helps you hear yourself express your feelings as though you were
listening to someone else.
Writing about your feelings. It may be
helpful to make a list of everything that is bothering you. You can then decide
which items you can change and write down ways that you can change
Recognizing things that you cannot change. There may be
things that you can do nothing about. Simply writing them down is often
helpful. Reminding yourself that some things are beyond your control also
helps. Letting go of the wish that you could change them may be hard to do. You
may need to remind yourself daily or many times throughout the day that these
things are beyond your control.
Making changes to help reduce your anger and frustration. For
example, if your child's television programs bother you, move the television
into a room where you can shut the door. Or you can wear earplugs if noises,
such as the television or radio, seem louder than usual.
If you continue to have trouble overcoming your frustration and
anger, or if you have had problems with anger in the past, talk about your
concerns with someone you trust, such as a clergyperson or a health
professional. You may decide to join a self-help group or seek