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Feel Less Frustrated When Stressed


Updated May 23, 2014

Profile of woman with eyes closed in countryside.
Dougal Waters/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Often when people are stressed they feel more frustrated and emotionally reactive to events that would normally affect them less. In fact, increased frustration, irritability and sensitivity can be signs of burnout as well. If you find yourself feeling less patient, more frustrated, more emotional, and less able to handle the stresses of your life, there are several things you can do to feel better:
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Find Quick Stress Relief
    Stopping your stress response relatively early on can help you to respond more calmly rather than reacting to stress in a way that you might regret. Quick stress relievers such as breathing exercises or Progressive Muscle Relaxation, for example, can calm you down and help you feel less frustrated and more able to handle what comes. Then you can take the next steps with a clearer head. Learn more about quick stress relievers so you can be prepared for what comes.
  2. Change Your Attitude
    Much of whether or not we see something as stressful depends on our habitual thought patterns and how we process the world around us. For example, those who see things as under their control tend to be less stressed about what happens to them, as they see that they always have options for change. Studies have shown health benefits to optimistic ways of thinking as well. Learn more about how to develop a resilient state of mind, and you’ll feel less stressed.
  3. Change Your Lifestyle
    If you feel yourself to be continually on edge, it’s possible that something needs to change in your life. If you cut down on commitments, take good care of your body, and make other healthy lifestyle changes, you’ll be dealing with less overall stress so you’ll be more effective at managing the stress that you do encounter. Read more about the most effective changes you can make to lead a healthy lifestyle.
  4. Draw on Social Support
    Often people are helped by having the release and support of sharing their troubles with close friends, family or loved ones. While it’s not healthy to constantly complain about an endless list of woes, talking to a trusted friend about frustrations now and then (and returning the favor by being a good listener) can help you process what’s going on with your life, and enable you to brainstorm solutions. If you don’t have someone you’re comfortable sharing your situation with, seeing a therapist or starting a regular journaling practice have both been shown to have benefits as well.
  5. Have Some Regular Stress Relief Activities
    To maintain a less stressed lifestyle, it’s important to have some regular stress relieving activities in your life. Those who regularly walk, meditate, or enjoy other stress relief activities in their lives tend to feel less stressed in general and less reactive to specific stressors that arise through the day. To find out which stress relief options would work best for your personality and lifestyle, I recommend the Stress Reliever Personality Test, which allows you to answer a few questions and find many options that should suit you.

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