The pandemic has put us in front of an uncertain future and left us with negative emotions.

We have all experienced as children the disappointment of asking for something that was then denied. It could also happen that we started crying and this drove our parents crazy. They labelled this behaviour as a whim.

Actually, frustration is present in all stages of life and our success also depends a little on how we manage this typical human emotion.

A Zen master summarizes happiness in a simple formula: happiness is the reality that we live less than what we want or hope to achieve.

When what you want outweighs what you have, then you are faced with what Carl Gustav Jung used to say: “Life not lived is a disease from which you can die.”

In our society where competition and instant satisfaction prevail, frustration necessarily accompanies us more or less always, because as soon as we have satisfied a wish, another one comes.

This period of pandemic has made us move from unbridled consumerism to a culture of cancellation (cancellation of holidays, cancellation of dinners with friends, cancellation of medical appointments, etc.).

Has this sudden change affected your life? See if you have any of the symptoms listed below to understand if you have become a frustrated person:

  1. you are often melancholic;
  2. you experience increased irritability, tension and stress. Things that didn’t bother you before now make you jump up;
  3. you have negative thoughts that come back all the time, stealing you energy and sometimes sleep;
  4. you have increased consumption of alcohol and medicines taken without medical advice;
  5. you want to run away.
Photo by Oscar Aguilar Elías on Unsplash

If you recognize yourself in one or two of these characteristics, then it means that frustration has taken over part of your life.

Here are some tips that will help you get through this moment:

  1. cultivate patience. It may seem obvious, but it is very effective. As a child as well as an adult, frustration occurs when you don’t get what you want. If the parents don’t buy you the toy you want when you ask for it, but they tell you they will offer it to you over your birthday, that doesn’t make you feel better. In times of crisis, if we do not know when the situation that creates frustration will end (as now, which the spread of Covid has resumed in a rather important way) we could lose hope. Against this view, only a long-term perspective will help you. Although you don’t know how long the situation will last, knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel helps you to live in the present moment.
  2. analyse what you get from it. Just as energy is not created or destroyed, but it is transformed, even losses can bring you gains. If you could not leave for that trip you wanted so much, think that you have saved some money and as soon as you can leave again, you will have greater financial availability. If you have lost your job because the company where you used to work has closed down, you will be forced to evaluate other possibilities, to get back into the game and maybe you can start an independent business that you never would have thought of before and that finally it is worthy. To fight frustration you have to ask yourself: What do I gain from this loss?
  3. think that everything changes. Nothing we have will last for ever. Even if we could satisfy all our wishes, it would always be a temporary satisfaction. If nothing remains as it is but everything changes, then the frustration loses its meaning.

The following thought is attributed to the painter Eugéne Delacroix: “Desire the best, avoid the worst and take what comes”. If you follow this motto, instead of holding on to expectations, you will take things as they happen. You will feel more in the flow of events, even chaotic, that life sometimes offers you.

Do you feel frustrated in this period of pandemic that is not over yet nor do you know when it will end?

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash