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« I'm Going to be Happy Today - Regardless! | Main | What You Hate Most in Others, is the Shadow Within Yourself. »

May 26, 2009

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I've been reading these kinds of instructions for years and they really do help a little. But unfortunately, some of us feel like hopeless cases when it comes to getting past this problem.

Ever since I was a little kid (I'm now pushing 60), I've felt this seemingly unmanageable frustration that wells up in relation to minor inconveniences. Certain stimuli just really push my buttons hard: devices and software that don't work as they should, making the same error successively, getting lost in the car when I'm in a time crunch -- little stuff. In retrospect, I can assess these things as comparatively trivial. But when the episodes are going on, they seem -- feel -- like really big deals. At those times, I complain like mad, swear like a drunken sailor (I don't normally talk that way), feel sorry for myself, etc. Then afterwards, I'm ashamed of the undignified way I conducted myself, even if I'm alone.

I've noticed that the few times I've been on antidepressants, I've felt a much higher frustration tolerance -- dramatically so. But I don't want to be drugged forever.

So any advice for the long-term, hard cases?

Hi D,

Not being able to speak to you it is hard to tell what the problem is, but it's not something I haven't heard before. In fact, it's fairly common. It sounds like your emotional bank account is overdrawn, leaving you no buffer to take everyday irritations in stride.

I would like to ask if you get frustrated this way when you are in love, or have landed a new job or when you are on vacation. In other words, when you are really happy do you still get frustrated this easily? My guess would be that you don't.

It's also interesting that you mention antidepressants. They can really help with the low frustration tolerance and irritability because they raise the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin causes you to feel calm and less irritable. So you've found a solution to the problem, you just need to figure out how to replace the antidepressants with behaviors which produce the same results - raising serotonin levels.

There is another neurotransmitter which antidepressants don't usually affect - dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter which gives us feelings of pleasure.

So it would seem the goal would be; finding out how to release serotonin and dopamine naturally so you would not be dependent on the medication. And this is possible. Anything which gives you pleasure or makes you happy releases serotonin. By this I mean real pleasure and real happiness. Not the kind they sell you on TV when they tell you that buying the latest, greatest product will make you happy. True happiness and true pleasure usually don't cost much, but you have to take the time to do them.

I cannot possibly know what gives any one person pleasure or happiness. We are all unique. So please take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt and develop your own list of things which give you pleasure. The following list is just an example of some things which might work.

Research has shown that the following things can naturally lift serotonin and dopamine levels:

Sunshine
Exercise
Playing with a child or an animal
Eating something really delicious
Sex
Laughing

Other things which might raise your pleasure levels:

A warm, scented bath
A day at the beach or hiking in the mountains
Listening to your favorite music
Walking through beautiful scenery
Etc.

I have a friend who puts on Beethoven then lies on the floor and "conducts" the orchestra. The loud, booming, manic sounds of some of Beethoven's works energize him.

I hope this helps.

Really interesting! I find it so hard to tolerate frustration.I don´t have patience at all.Sometimes I stop to reason for a while but then, I can´t help having an eating disorder...any advice to give me to keep on trying to deal with frustration and in turn develop patience?

Hi Sophia,

I would suggest you start with the eating disorder! Eating disorders can seriously threaten your health, even your life, not to mention your mental health. I hope you will find a counselor and start there.

city people learn that waiting is part of life,as rural areas grow their long time residents do some stupid and dangerous driving!! iwas at a stop light today waiting to turn left/when the guy behind me in a pickup pulled to my left side and turned left while the light was still red..when driving in the country i don't dare stop for a yellow light. (rear-ended twice for douing that)i used to leave space in front of my car when stoppped at a light,not in farm towns they come from behind up the middle to fill the space!

it is HARD to be a christian/good person with all the mean-rude people we deal with.what i do is silently ask GOD HELP ME OUT HERE..when someone gives me mean look i'll smile at them (demons hate that)

there are mean (EVIL) people whose goal is to get us upset/angry enough to lose our cool.this realy FRUSTRATES me.

what can i do when i have chronic fatigue and FRUSTRATION makes it unbearable ? thanks everyone for taking time to think about this stuff.

hello D, A big reason things set you {and myself}off is the low qaulity of life we get for working our ass off but not being able to afford or have time to enjoy life.go to a young peoples bar on a friday eve and i bet 90% will say that drinking is their way of relaxing.it becomes a cycle.mix boooze with frustration there will be trouble;because life is tense you don't need anyone invading your peace time..

SOPHIA {nice name) can you afford to eat out with friends once a week?it can be fun.one night italian next time mexican etc.it will become something to look forward to.HOPE THIS HELPS!

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