Frustration occurs when we get less than what we expected.

When I rent a car, I never get frustrated when they tell me they are all out of economy class and I have to get an upgrade to a sports car. Frustration sets in when I order large fries and I only get a medium!

Frustration is more than unmet expectations. When I receive a free upgrade my expectations are surpassed and I feel the opposite of frustrated. I feel blessed, excited and surprised.

I have found that frustration is a part of daily life. What makes the difference is how you respond to frustration.

Image courtesy of Sura Anankkml /

Image courtesy of Sura Anankkml /

I don’t always respond in the best way possible. So I need your help and suggestions on what you do when you become frustrated.

Here are a few things I strive to do:

1. Take a break. 

This is especially helpful when I am at a road block and can’t seem to get past the frustration. Maybe you are trying to put your kid’s bike together and you can’t get the back wheel to fit on.

Try taking a breather. Take 10min and distract your mind with something else.

I have found that when I return, it’s much easier to finish.

2. Lower your expectations

This is not to say to never expect anything. Dream big and plan for something awesome. Just make sure your expectations are realistic. If you get frustrated when the rental car company doesn’t give you a free upgrade, your expectation might be out of line.

Sometimes our expectations aren’t reasonable, either. When this is the case we need to adjust them so they are more accurate.

Our standards should be high and our expectations reasonable.

3. Take a step back.

Have you ever been at an art museum and noticed how people look at paintings? They rarely stand really close. You never see a guy with his nose against the painting. Usually they are a few steps back. This helps them see the whole painting. We sometimes need to take a step back from our frustrations.

This helps us to take in the whole picture and put things into proper perspective.

Your frustration is valid. The problem is when you make small things in the moment seem too significant in the long term.

Frustration happens when we receive less than what we expect. Tweet this!

So those are a few of my suggestions on how to handle frustrations.

But like I said, I need your help and want to hear your suggestions.

What do you do when you get frustrated?