How to Deal with Trading Frustrations

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Contents

My Best Ways to Deal with Frustration

“Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.” – Bo Bennett

Like most people, I’ve experienced many instances of frustration . Some of them proved exceedingly trying and I found it nearly impossible to get past the episodes, replaying in my head what happened and how badly it made me feel. While I tried different methods to cope, including tipping back a few too many cocktails after a rough day at work, most were ineffective, at best. Worse, some had lingering consequences, such as a reprimand from my boss (after coming in late due to the imbibing). Over the years, however, I’ve made it a point to determine what works best for me to deal with frustration.

First, though, here’s some research frustration, how to recognize it, typical symptoms, frustration’s relationship to anger and stress and other interesting science.

Frustration often leads to recurring nightmares.

Ever wake up in the middle of a nightmare shivering in fear or with a feeling of dread and impending doom? If so, says science, there’s a likely correlation between the frustrations you’ve experienced during the day and the vivid and frightening dreams you have at night. I know that I’ve had dreams where I’m falling from a height and, luckily, wake up before I hit the ground. Dreaming of failure and being physically attacked were also part of my nightmare portfolio. As such, I found fascinating the research of the team at the University of Cardiff that waking-life psychological experiences, particularly frustration, directly tie in to the dream state in the form of nightmares. When study participants were frustrated, they reported having more frightening dreams and described those dreams in negative terms. According to the researchers, the nightmares represent the psyche attempting to process and make some sense of the experiences that were psychologically distressing while awake.

Frustrated people tend to smile more when they’re experiencing frustration.

This finding by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology caught me off guard. I thought people who smiled a lot were generally optimistic and cheerful. Indeed, smiling is typically a characteristic of someone who’s happy. Yet, as careful analysis of smiles shows, not all smiles are indicative of the emotion of happiness. There’s the fake smile, the polite smile, the nervous smile, and so on. According to the MIT researchers, most people don’t believe they smile a lot when they’re frustrated, yet they do, as proven by facial scans in the study. To prove their hypothesis, the researchers had study participants complete two types of task, one designed to frustrate and one not, and scanned their faces after they completed the task and hit the submit button (which deleted the frustrating task but accepted the control task). While the smiles that appeared looked similar, the frustrated smiles disappeared quickly compared to the genuine smiles. Frustration is a fundamental human experience, so it will be interesting to see where this research leads.

Men and women express anger and frustration differently.

In terms of biology, there’s no denying differences between men and women. As it turns out, findings from researchers at Southwest Missouri State University reveal there are even some differences in how the two sexes tend to show they’re angry or frustrated. Both feel anger and frustration, yet men tend to accept and embrace the emotions, using them to their advantage. Women, on the other hand, view anger and frustration as counter-productive. In the study, men felt ineffective when told to hold their emotions in, while women did not feel constricted when asked to do so. Similarly, researchers found a correlation between men being assertive and expressing anger outwardly, but not in women. Furthermore, women viewed their anger negatively, generally calling it frustration, while still using that anger to help bring about change. Due to social expectations, women tend to camouflage their anger and frustration, yet find alternative routes to get results they want.

Frustration stems from stress.

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What causes the buildup of physiological and psychological response that results in emotions such as anxiety , overwork, despair, distress, frustration and more? According to the literature, the medical term for the origin of much emotional buildup, which often has physical components as well, is stress . Repeated stress that is not effectively dealt with can cause serious physical consequences. Like a machine that eventually wears down, continual stressors on the body’s activation of the nervous system ( chronic stress ) results in release of the stress hormones of cortisol and epinephrine and precipitates problems with the heart and other vital organs, along with the potential development of mental health issues.

To better handle frustration and stress, change your perception.

An article in Harvard Business Review discussed the concept of resilience and how everyday stressors and frustration can be more effectively dealt with by reframing perception. In short, change how you perceive frustration and stress. Authors cited two studies, one by researchers at the University of Buffalo that day-to-day stressors help people cultivate necessary skills to tackle difficult future situations, and anther by Harvard University researchers who found that participants told physiological signs of stress helped them better cope with it then viewed stress as helpful. The key takeaway here is to modify the perception of stress and frustration to promote the development of resilience, the ability to handle whatever comes your way in the most effective manner.

TIPS TO COPE WITH FRUSTRATION

Now, as to how I’ve learned to deal with frustration – and what works well for me, here are a few general tips:

  • Take some deep breaths. This will allow you to calm your pent-up emotions and restore a sense of calm. Likely, the frustration you’ve felt has caused you to hold your breath or breathe shallowly. In either case, your body is oxygen-depleted and it’s hard to think clearly . Deep breathing can help slow heartbeat and lower blood pressure, diminishing the negative effects of the stressful emotion.
  • Figure out the source of the frustration. Now that you’re thinking more clearly, use this clarity to focus on what may be the probable cause that you’re experiencing frustration. Without being caught up in the immediate effects of the frustration, you’ll be more prone to identify the source, so you can devise constructive ways to deal with it.
  • Remind yourself that this will pass. Frustration shouldn’t be an ongoing experience. Like the weather, it’s bound to change. By recognizing that emotions are generally fleeting, you rob them of their power and hold on you. Envision yourself in a happier state and recall that things that frustrated you in the past generally didn’t last long. You found ways to get past it, or the experiences causing the frustration weren’t consequential enough to have lasting effect.
  • Work on something else.Distraction is a great method to get past a roadblock. It works in problem-solving, getting past anger and other emotions – including frustration. If you’re stuck in a sour mood due to something frustrating, go out and dig in the garden, pound some nails in wood, demolish cardboard boxes to put in the recycle bin. Involve yourself in a task requiring close concentration. These techniques get your mind off what’s frustrating you.
  • Do something pleasant. Instead of beating yourself up mentally over your frustrating day, do something enjoyable . Take a soaking bath. Read a book. Watch a comedy. Go for coffee with friends. Indulge yourself a little yet be sensible in your choice. Hobbies are also effective for helping dispel frustration.

How to Deal with Frustration

When things don’t work out as expected, do you get easily frustrated? Do you tend to shout, scream, stomp your feet and pull on your hair? Whenever you’re feeling frustrated, this indicates that you are being held back from something by self-imposed barriers and limitations. In other words, you are the reason why you’re feeling frustrated, and only you have the power to break this pattern. However, even though on the surface frustration feels uncomfortable, below the surface it can be quite beneficial as an instant motivator that stimulates your imagination. Here are six steps on how to deal with frustration.

1) RECOGNIZE THE MOMENT OF FRUSTRATION

Frustration isn’t something that suddenly hits us out of the blue, it is rather something that builds up progressively over time. You might initially feel a little resistance at first. This resistance manifests from the fact that you don’t feel as though you are in full control of the situation. All of a sudden you start feeling a little anxious as you sense your inadequacies and limitations bubbling up to the surface. You have all these expectations about how things should be, but for one reason or another doubts start to creep into your head. Being mindful of these feelings will help you capture the precise moments of frustration.

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2) IMMEDIATELY GET CURIOUS

Instead of stomping out of the room, immediately stop yourself and get curious. Get curious about this situation and about what exactly is getting you so worked up. Ask yourself what’s working and what’s not working for you. Moreover, figure out how exactly you are approaching this situation and whether or not this is actually the best approach to take. See your frustration as a problem or puzzle that must be solved. You know for instance that you can get this done — if you didn’t, then you would feel despondent. However, you are instead feeling frustrated. Use it as motivation to move yourself forward.

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3) GAIN SOME NEEDED CLARITY

It’s time now to gain some clarity about what it is you want to achieve. In other words, what’s your goal? What are you trying to accomplish? What is the outcome you would like to realize? Your frustrations may very well result from the fact that you don’t quite understand what you’re working toward. You haven’t been clear enough, and subsequently the methods you have chosen to work through this puzzle haven’t gotten you the results you had expected. However, once you have the necessary clarity of mind, this will help you see things more clearly and allow you to move forward in more optimal ways.

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4) SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Now that you have some clarity about what you want, it’s time to challenge yourself to view your predicament in a more optimal way. In other words, it’s time to shift your perspective of the situation and choose to view your frustrations as an opportunity or challenge to do things better. Your first objective is to identify what exactly has been working for you. There must be something that you have done well. Identify what that is and then also figure out the mistakes you might have made along the way. Now view those mistakes as helpful coincidences and use them as an opportunity for positive change.

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5) THINK FLEXIBLY AND CREATIVELY

In order to work through your frustrations in optimal ways, it’s vital that you think flexibly and creatively about your predicament. You’ve obviously struggled and made mistakes along the way. However, these mistakes haven’t been in vain. Making mistakes has helped you learn valuable lessons about what works, and about what doesn’t work in this particular situation. Use these learning experiences as a platform for finding alternative ways for getting things done. Maybe there is a better way to work through this that you hadn’t yet considered? Or just maybe someone else can help you think things through a little differently?

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6) WORK WITH PURPOSE

We all get frustrated from time-to-time. However, some people deal with frustration in more optimal ways than others. Those are of course the people who work with purpose. They turn their frustrations into a game and commit themselves to taking proactive and purposeful action until they solve their frustration puzzle. Turning your frustrations into a game will keep you interested and focused. It also stimulates your imagination and encourages a lighthearted playful approach to problem solving. Moreover, it challenges you to try new things — to take chances and risks in the pursuit of your goals.

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HOW TO DEAL WITH FRUSTRATION SUMMARY

Handling frustration is never an easy experience, however it doesn’t necessarily need to be an overwhelming experience. Making a few tweaks in the way you handle yourself during these frustrating moments can make all the difference in the end.

You now effectively have the blueprint in place on how to deal with frustration. Remember though that frustration is a choice. You always have a choice of whether to deal with frustration or whether to allow frustration to get the better of you. If you choose to deal with frustration, then you effectively hold the power in your hands to influence the outcome of your experience. However, if on the other hand, you allow frustration to get the better of you, then you will struggle to achieve anything of significance in your life.

Imagine for a moment you could develop new habits and methods of thinking where you naturally and effortlessly adopt these ideas on how to deal with frustration into your life. How would that make you feel? Would you feel more fulfilled, empowered and in control?

Yes, there is such simplicity within this IQ Doodle, but of course there is a reason for that. Making positive change doesn’t need to be a complicated process. It just needs to be a consistent process where we progressively develop new habits-of-mind through repeated exposure and implementation. And that’s what these IQ Doodles are for.

We have prepared for you an IQ Doodle pack on how to deal with frustration that includes several variations of this IQ Doodle that you can use for guidance and inspiration throughout the day. Use it consistently and you will begin making positive changes in the way you live, work and interact with others.

Visit the IQ Doodle Store to learn more about how to use this IQ Doodle to help you deal with frustration and begin optimizing the way you live your life.

Learn More About this Topic

Want to know more about this topic? Here are some helpful links to articles that you may find of value:

The Trading Mindset: Frustration Leads to Learning

Verified Profitable Trader

I was listening intently to an interview of a professional athlete, talking about playing against one of the best teams in their league. Instead of being intimidated by the prospect of playing such a highly dominant team, they had the following to say;

“These are the games you really look for. They force you to test yourself, to find out what you are doing well, and what you need to work on.”

If there is a mindset or quality I’d like to install in every trader, it would be what this athlete was conveying. They looked forward to the challenge they were up against.

They weren’t worried so much about making mistakes, or not being able to handle the more dominant team.

If they couldn’t, it meant they had things to work on.

Frustration Leads to Learning
Developing traders need to build this type of successful mindset. Losses will happen, you will be frustrated at times, and the market will not always make sense. These experiences can last for hours, days, weeks, perhaps months.

How you respond to each and every trade matters more than you can imagine.

If you as a trader are going through, or have recently gone through a frustrating period – you have to let that ‘feeling’ of frustration be temporary. It is ok to experience stress in trading, but it is not constructive to define yourself by your frustration.

Frustration must lead to learning.

Better to have the approach that any losses, mistakes, or frustrations are learning experiences. That you actively seek out the challenges inherent in the markets.

Approaching every single trade as a learning experience, will help you see the bigger picture and build confidence in your trading.

Opportunities to Learn
Each trade and moment behind the charts is an opportunity to learn.

Are you really trading like a sniper, or just sitting on your hands waiting for some perfect setup? Are you trading to be right, or are you actively focusing on improving your skills? Are you working to accelerate your learning curve, or are you letting your emotions define your experience?

Frustration must lead to learning – in fact all trades must lead to learning. You either win, lose, or learn from each trade. The first two you cannot control entirely, but you can with the last. And which do you think leads to your development as a trader?

The best athletes, professionals, and successful traders learn from each trade, and maximize every chance to learn. This is part of building a successful mindset, which is essential and required for trading successfully.

Ask yourself, how would your trading experience and mindset differ if you looked forward to the challenges, and the frustrating moments, learning from each? How would this change your daily approach and thoughts when engaging the markets each day?

What parts of the above can you work on, and what have you noticed about yourself after reading this article?

Please make sure to comment, share your current experiences, and what you thought about these suggestions.

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Hi, I’m Chris Capre, founder of 2ndSkiesForex. I’m a verified profitable trader and trading mentor. As a professional trader, I specialize in trading Price Action and the Ichimoku cloud. As a trading mentor, I have one goal: to change the way you think, trade and perform using 18 years of trading experience and cutting edge neuroscience to wire your brain for successful trading. Want to improve your trading edge and mindset? Check out my trading courses here.

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