Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

What is it?

Frustration is a common emotion that we all encounter on a regular basis. It usually shows up in situations when we feel blocked from reaching a desired outcome. When we reach our goals, we feel pleased and excited, but when we are prevented from reaching them we tend to give in to frustration and we may feel irritable, and sometimes even annoyed and angry. And as experience teaches us, the more important the goal, the greater the frustration.

What is the emotion of frustration telling your young person?

Frustration is telling them that the efforts and actions they’re applying to a situation are not producing the results they think they should. Simply put, your young person is not getting what they want, and that can be very frustrating.

Suggestions for your young person on how to manage frustration?
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation. Practicing this will teach them the following effective ways to manage their frustration:
  • Step back and distance themselves from events.
  • Feel the frustration, process it, and let it go.
  • Take some deep breaths, become calmer, and then take action.
  • Assess if they need to accept a situation or if they can change it.
  • Help your young person expand their frustration tolerance by scaffolding/supporting challenging activities, so they can feel success when they persevere.