Dealing with Frustration as an HSP

Putting away groceries the other day, I surprised myself. I was emptying potatoes into a bag in the pantry when the bag slipped and all the potatoes flew in every direction. I let out a grunt – a half-scream, guttural cry. Frustration. It had been building since I got home. I knew I had many other demands on my time which were taunting me throughout my grocery store trip. Tasks that needed to be done, all of which I prioritized as high. But the need to replenish our food supply took on greater importance as it represented survival.

As an HSP, I am well acquainted with a wide range of human emotion within. Most HSPs, being more in tune with their emotions, are. While this gives us a more intuitive perception on our world, we can only take advantage of that if we keep our awareness keen. I allowed myself to become distracted.

What I experienced was frustration. Frustration and anger are closely related. Anger often results from a wrong committed against you. Frustration results from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs. The feeling that results from these causes, an intense displeasure, is also similar. Frustration can also produce or be accompanied by anxiety or depression. Our intense empathy can sometimes stand in the way of our ability to recognize and accept these negative emotions.

We must be careful. Due to our different physiology, we experience these emotions more intensely than our fellow humans. We, as empaths, also absorb them from those around us. That intensity can be overwhelming, especially during times of great unrest and stress. And they can sneak up on you, like they did to me during the pantry incident.

Here is how I am dealing with my frustration. Hopefully these tips will help you too.

Take Care of Yourself

Your number one responsibility is to yourself. When times are tough, the first person we tend to forget to take care of is ourselves. This can be a problem for most of us most of the time, but is especially difficult during stress. But making sure that we continue to exercise, eat a proper diet, make time for quiet contemplation and alone time, and put these activities first and foremost is absolutely necessary. When we do this, we are better able to deal with the negatives.

Keep Your Awareness Sharp

I allowed myself to focus on the many things I needed to be doing, instead of focusing on the task at hand. When you zone in on what you are doing, you keep your mind sharp and you get your task done sooner and with great efficiency. Then, you are free to move on to the next. Staying aware keeps your mind on the present and how you are feeling at that moment.

Find a Way to Release Your Frustration

Newly arisen emotion needs release. You must allow those emotions freedom to express themselves. When you do, you free them to move on, and you can move on also. A great way to release those emotions is to talk to a trusted friend, someone who is a good listener. Yes, you usually take on that role, but you also need that kindness shown to you on occasion. If you are uncomfortable with talking it out, or have no one to turn to, journaling or writing down your frustration is also a good release. HSPs relate well to writing. Our need for solitude has heightened our ability to “talk it out” with ourselves.

Frustration is part of life. It can sneak up on HSPs if we let it. But being kind to ourselves means that we deal positively with negative emotions like frustration. I hope you will resonate with these suggestions and that they give you peace.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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