Describing frustration is challenging since it’s a complex mixture of rage, disappointment, and annoyance. Unfortunately, most healthcare professionals are currently experiencing significant frustration due to issues like a lack of PPE, poor workplace support, and an allegedly careless public. While we can’t always stop ourselves from feeling angry or frustrated, we can always choose how we respond to those feelings. Here are some constructive ways to let go of any pent-up negative energy.

Top 10 Ways to Cope with Frustration

  1. Do some breathing exercises.

Your breathing may become shallower and faster when experiencing a strong emotional reaction. You can calm yourself down and increase the amount of oxygen your brain receives by controlling your breathing. For example, breathing in for four seconds, holding for seven, and exhaling for eight is helpful.

  1. Progressive muscle relaxation.

Muscle tightness is one of the ways our bodies react to intense emotions. Your mind will relax more after that bodily strain is released. Lie down and focus on each muscle group, tensing with each inhalation and releasing with each exhalation. Try guided audio if you want some guidance.

  1. Meditate.

In addition to helping you set a distance between your ideas and emotions as you become more self-aware, meditation may be a wonderful tool for connecting with your feelings.

  1. Exercise.

Physical exercise improves your mood, aids in the control of stress and adrenaline, and serves as a beneficial outlet for stored energy. Try going for a run and paying close attention to the ground you are hitting while you go, if you can. Check if your neighborhood gym offers online classes, or look up your preferred workout on YouTube if you want instruction.

  1. Yoga.

Yoga is a terrific method to move your body purposefully if you want low-impact workouts. Yoga Pose offers an online database of positions that may be browsed by ailment (such as anxiety or back discomfort), and it has categories with exercises for relaxation.

  1. Vent.

Give yourself some time to vent your anger with a reliable friend rather than ruminating on it because doing so simply makes it worse. Venting can be a beneficial emotional release if you don’t dwell on it for too long. Limit it to 15 minutes, then switch to a more upbeat topic of conversation.

  1. Journal.

Try writing (or typing) it all out if you’re experiencing the kind of frustration that prevents you from thinking clearly. This can aid in situation processing and brain relaxation so you can tackle the problem more comfortably.

  1. Get outside.

Go for a stroll around the block, spend some time in your backyard, or visit your preferred park. If you’re pressed for time, even a brief break in the fresh air for 60 seconds will help you reset. Remove your shoes and allow your bare feet to touch the grass or earth to help you feel more grounded.

  1. Manage your expectations of others.

Negative emotions can result from unrealistic expectations. Understand that you can never entirely predict how others will behave; alter your own frame of reference so that you aren’t holding them to expectations they won’t meet—doing so will only make you feel worse.

  1. Treat yourself.

It’s acceptable to occasionally just want to relax on the couch with a bag of chips and your favorite movie. Likewise, treating yourself to certain guilty pleasures is acceptable if it doesn’t become a bad habit.