How's Your 'Frustration Tolerance'?


I walked into the master bathroom of our Spring Break rental and found: • the above sign and • an empty toilet paper holder. Did I feel frustrated? No, in this instance I laughed. Psychology Today defines Frustration Tolerance as "the ability to overcome obstacles and withstand stressful events." When our plans are thwarted by unexpected curveballs--big ones, like the coronavirus, or small, like no TP when you need it--how does it affect you? How easily do you get annoyed? And what is it that gets you annoyed? Anxious people tend to have stronger feelings of frustration--and temperament can also play a role, but no matter what the reason, here are simple steps to build your frustration tolerance. First, identify your triggers. (Hangry? Overscheduled? Not enough sleep?) Second, recognize that frustrations are a part of life. We all have them... and some pet peeves as well. Third, when you recognize the emotion of frustration, stop, identify it for what it is, and...breathe. Fourth, remember you can choose how to react. You don't have to get frustrated. Personally, when I feel frustrated, I put myself on "time out"--like a four-year-old. Either physically, by leaving where I am, or mentally, by using mindfulness techniques. How's your Frustration Tolerance? What techniques have worked for you? How do you incorporate them into your (daily/weekly) life?


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