It is natural for all of us to experience moments of frustration, and typically this comes from not being able to control a situation. This could be anything from driving behind someone that is going slower than you, to not being able to get a seat at a favorite restaurant, to not losing the weight you want in the time frame you’ve set up for yourself. It’s probably not too much of a stretch to assume that this feeling is not one most of us enjoy yet it is the feeling that most of us default to in these and similar situations.
The opposite of frustration is acceptance. To know that you have no control over the situation happening to and around you and to be okay with that. Yet for most people this isn’t an easy thing to do, but why is that?
Difference Between Frustration and Acceptance
First off, frustration is easy, acceptance is difficult. With frustration you don’t have to do anything, it’s just a reaction to the situation, you are just frustrated. There is no need to work around the situation that is happening, it’s just something that is frustrating.
Secondly, acceptance takes work. Unlike the passive reaction of frustration to a situation that is out of your control: you have to actively be aware of what is going on inside of you and make a decision on how you want to react to the situation. This first, reflect on how you feel in the moment. Chances are you’ve missed that are you feeling frustrated. Once you have identified this feeling as frustration you have a choice to make. To either indulge the feeling or change how you feel, the latter being practicing acceptance.
If you decide to take the acceptance route then there are few additional steps you need to take.
Since frustration can overwhelm your nervous system and make it difficult to think straight, you first need to take a few deep breaths to bring a level of calm into the moment. Second, you need to find a way to reframe the situation in your head. That is you need to find a different “story” as to why this has happened or is happening.
Reframe How You See a Situation
An example of this is someone aggressively speeding through traffic. The frustrated way would be to throw your hands up, cuss and maybe do something dangerous and ill advised. The acceptance version would be to quickly recognize the frustration and anger that is welling up, take a few deep breaths and then reframe the situation. Tell yourself that this person’s mother was admitted to the emergency room and they are overwhelmed with grief. That getting out of their way is helping them. Obviously you have no clue if this is anywhere near the truth, but by just reframing the story as to why this person is driving the way they are opens up a more charitable way of dealing with the situation.
Reframing How you See Your Weight Loss Stall
Another frustrating situation is one many of you are probably familiar with, not losing weight quickly. This can bring on a more low level frustration that can generate feelings of failure and wanting to give up. Where acceptance of the slow weight loss can help you start to see new paths forward. Being able to step away from the feelings of failure and reframe the situation can give you the breathing room you need to make changes to get you back on track.
Like everything when it comes to changing habits and reactions this is something that can take a while to include into your life. Bringing in a bariatric mindset coach can help with this healthy transition. This gives you the chance to work with someone that can help bring in tools that work specifically for you and your individual needs. To have someone on your side to make changes that you made need or to help guide you around roadblocks that can stall your progress. Contact us or set up an appointment to talk with us about how we can help you start to build an more accepting life.
Geof has been working with bariatric surgery clients for over a decade. His goal with Coaching For Bariatric Success is to give you the tools to make your weight loss successful for the long term.