Being aware of our emotions is the best way to manage how we feel and to stay in a constant uplifting mood.
Our goal is for this process to be automatic. Having to constantly stop doing what I am working and get myself back into a productive state is tiresome. Frustration breeds frustration! You must have a process that allows me to check my emotions and quickly change my focus back to the project at hand.
Awareness allows you to stay mindful of your mood and quickly change the stimuli which are at the root of your panic and frustration.
How to determine if you are frustrated or annoyed
Being aware is a skill. Every skill needs routine and practice. You might think I never understand how I have gotten to the place of utter desperation. Just like when you realize you are dreaming you think when did I get in this place where everything is so surreal and Dali-esque? I cannot answer on why you become aware that you are dreaming but research in lucid dreaming shows that you can train your mind to become aware more easily and frequently that you are dreaming.
Nonetheless, if you can train yourself to be aware in a sleep state it should be easy to be aware of what you are feeling when you are awake! Once again it takes practice and routine. I am stopping myself for repeating this a third time because I am not sure being blatantly redundant will get my point across.
It is similar to knowing what your body needs. Sometimes you think you are starving, so you shove some unwanted food in your mouth and then you take a sip of water to wash it down. The water is so cold and refreshing, you chug it all down and then fill the glass for another go. Now you feel full and refreshed. Your body thanks you as you feel the water rush through your system hydrating every cell. Dehydration masks itself as hunger often and it has very poor effects on the body.
Frustration is the same way. Learn to understand when you are feeling its harmful effects.
How to learn new skills to understand how you are truly feeling at any given moment.
The first step in this quick mood fix is Awareness/Mindfulness
- Be mindful of your body– The body responds to frustration and will give cues to let you know that it is starting to feel frustration or other unwanted emotional states. When I am feeling frustrated or insecure I tend to tense up my shoulders I then pull my chin to my chest. I look like a troll. I have been paying attention to this because my husband makes fun of me by imitating the look. Most unbecoming.
Our bodies and mind are incredible machines so there are many cues your body sends to you about emotional states. Many of these cues are seen in facial expressions, but there are many other physical body positions or mindless actions performed which signal that we are losing control of our emotions.
- Once a state/emotion is recognized or cued a plan to deal with this unwanted state most be initiated. It is important to learn how the body responds to frustration, annoyance, abandonment, rejection, exhaustion, and any other unwanted unhealthy state. You need to know what to do to get back into the productive, happy-go-lucky state.
Now the body has pinpointed through a series of cues that you are not in a state that you want to be in. Your facial expression is contorted and twisted, your body is slumped, breathing shallow, and you cannot think of anything nice to say, so you have to do something to change this emotional state before it causes more problems. So you must…
Quickly you draw your focus inward and assess the situation.
- What do you believe about the situation?
- Why is this situation causing your change in emotional state?
- What do I need to do to change my focus?
Now that you have pinpointed the frustration it is vital to listen to your self-talk about how you are dealing with the pain or pressure point of annoyance. The questions above can be easily answered but most of the time these questions are skipped. It is easy to move on to the next step and answer what you believe about the situation with negative self-talk.
Once you plow through the negative self-talk move on to the questions you have about the situation.
- Pinpoint the area of stress and pain
- Find solutions by changing beliefs about the event or person
- Stop making everything a personal attack on your abilities
Finally, you are ready to move on to the last step and the most vital step at becoming aware f your frustration, eliminating and getting back into a positive healthy state
Focus and become aware of what you are telling yourself about the situation.
Now if you use this process you can change your emotional state in seconds to one that is more in-line with how you chose to live your life. Focus on what you are in fact telling yourself about the situation:
- Why is this happening?
- What am I doing?
- Argh, my life is an f-ing nightmare?
- What a nightmare?
- Why does this always happen to me?
- Nothing ever works out the way it is supposed too or
- It never works
It is vital that you learn to stay from words that offer finality, such as always and never. Words like these trap your mind in endless loops with not much hope of success. The world doesn’t always want to work with you so it is important that you learn to be less defeating in how you speak to yourself.
It is vital that you learn to spot negative words and phrases that you consistently tell yourself and combat the self-defeating belief with new positive self-talk. Another term used to for positive self-talk is affirmations. Affirmations are very powerful and can set you on a journey of self-discovery, belief, and healing.
Changing my negative self-talk was a major step in becoming successful and it is a constant practice because it is so easy to talk poorly to myself.
The process I used to defeat my negative self-talk was not simple. Before I climbed back out of the gutter I spoke poorly of myself about every situation I encountered. I was the epitome of negativity; I was my own worse enemy, so if I can do it you can too! The process is easy to describe but it is hard to consistently do.
So instead of those questions above you must ask yourself questions about eh situation that can get you out of the negative state
- what can I do to change this situation?
- This isn’t happening right now so what can I change to feel differently?
- How am I sabotaging this situation?
By trying to find a positive way to work through the frustration is the quickest way out of the negative state. Do not be afraid to do the most fearful thing you need to do to change the emotion.
To become the best version of yourself is staying consistent and in positive emotional states.
Every time I caught myself thinking poorly or saying something negative about my performance or outcome to a situation I immediately made myself tell myself that this was the old johnny thinking. I would then insert a positive affirmation which was the opposite version.
Some affirmations I use still today include:
- Today, I am committed to living healthy and happily
- The answer is to always perform to the best of my abilities
- I have no fears or regrets, anger or stress
- where I am right now is exactly where I needed to be
- I am confident, competent, and courageous
- I am powerful beyond measure
- I am gifted, wise, and capable of succeeding in all aspects of my life
Refreshing the steps to stay aware of emotion and frustration
First, remember to pay attention to what your body is telling you. What is the pattern of your breathing- long deep breaths or shallow? Pay attention to your mouth. Are you holding it tight or relaxed? Are your shoulders up and tense or falling back and relaxed? Your body will tell you how you are feeling in the moment. Pay attention to the physical signs of your emotional state.
Next, you have to focus on what you believe about the situation? If you are frustrated what is it that you believe in the moment? Most of the time frustration is a result of you believing that it is not as good as it can be, something is not working the way it should be, or it just feels that whatever can go wrong is going wrong at the moment?
Lastly, you must become aware of what are you telling yourself about this situation. Are you telling yourself there is nothing you can do to change this situation. Are you using words like nothing I can do, never or always? If so then you must change this way of thinking and then start telling yourself ways to rise above the situation.
Wrapping it up
The process is quick. It’s not easy, but with practice, you will get into a positive state in seconds. You will no longer spend the day lost because of how you think you should feel.
You cannot control everything, but you can control how you feel, and what the situation means to you.
Focus on being aware and present in the situation. Break patterns of negatively by viewing the events taking place. You can change a negative emotion in seconds. Practice on staying focused and mindful, accepting the moment and then you can create your own reality. You can stay positive, focused, productive, and happy.
Photostill-from Inception, Christopher Nolan