by Jean C. Gordon
According to the Calendar of Weird Holidays, today is International Moment of Frustration Day. Since we all have frustrating moments in our lives, I’m commemorating the day by sharing some ways to deal with frustration. The research I found universally recommends three core strategies.
Stay in the present
Frustration is often triggered or heightened by (1) wanting to jump to somewhere in the future and be done with the now or (2) reliving a failure in the past. What can you do to get yourself back to the present and reduce your frustration? Take stock of the things around you. Notice the sun shining through the window, the colors of the changing fall leaves, the laughter of your children playing, the smells of dinner cooking, a picture on the wall, the pattern on your bedspread, birds chirping outside, your cat chasing her tail. Taking a minute or two to ground yourself in your surroundings should get your attention back to the present.
Appreciate what you have
Once you’re back in the present, focus on what’s still positive in your life by making a list of important things you may take for granted—things like, a warm home and roof over your head, clean drinking water, food, books to read, access to the Internet, your family and friends.
Ask yourself what you can do right now
Now, that you’re calmer, you could try what you were doing one more time. Not all things in life come to you the first, second, or even third time. Or you might be able to take a small step in a different direction that will open up another way to achieve your goal. It’s also possible that you can’t do anything right now. You may have taken on too much and what you need to do is back off for a while, take the evening or a few days to relax, take care of yourself, and perhaps simplify a bit.
Turn to His Word
This one is mine. It’s what I do. I have a file on the laptop desktop with encouraging Bible versus for different situations that I can click open and read when I need encouragement. Putting this step first makes the other steps more successful. These are the versus in my file that I've found helpful for frustration.
Deuteronomy 31:6: So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:12-13: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is t have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any an every situation, whether fed or hungry. I can do everything through him who brings me strength.
What do you do when you’re frustrated?
Physical therapist Dana VanAlstyne’s dreams of a family were lost in the dust of a motocross racecourse. Although she’s filled her life with her work and church activities, it hasn’t filled the empty space inside her. Nor has it eased the heartache of being abandoned by a man who wasn’t ready for a wife and children. Now her dream is to open her own private practice. All she needs is the capital to make that happen.
Anton, “Mac,” Macachek may be the top professional motocross racer in the country but he still has one race that matters more to him: winning a championship at Unadilla Raceway and showing the hometown folks the bad boy did amount to something. But when a horrific accident sidelines those plans, he makes a deal with the woman he once loved with all his heart. A woman who abandoned him. If Dana will get him back in racing shape, he’ll fund her new practice. Then an even more dangerous risk is revealed. If Mac races again, he could die.
Does Dana have enough faith to risk her heart again? She loved Mac once, but feared he loved motocross racing more than he loved her. If she helps him mend his broken body, will it also mend her broken heart? Or will it all be lost again in the dust and danger of a motocross racetrack?
TEAM MACACHEK: Meet the strong women and fearless men of the motocross circuit.
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