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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

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When You Feel Frustrated, Go With the Flow


Are you making your life impossible? When you hit a wall and people and projects don’t work out the way you planned, you tend to apply more force. Frustrated, you take it up a notch, pushing even harder for success. However, forcing an issue does not usually get results. Getting caught up in the frenzy of seeking to control, you thrash around as though caught in a riptide dangerously being pulled under. Ironically, all you have to do is to easily swim sideways, a few feet away to safety and freedom. When relationships or work are not going your way, try to flow with the current…

Flow means creating balance in body, mind and spirit. We need to stabilize ourselves. Sometimes we have to let the current carry us, to yield to that which we cannot control and put our trust in others, or the universe. We can break up our life into moments and be satisfied with the moment. If that moment is frustrating, the next moment can be better. Sometimes we have to do nothing, but wait and collect our energies. We have to give up our preconceived neat plans, take a detour or feel our way around intuitively.

When we flow, we become one with what we are doing, and we are graceful: Like a golf swing that emanates from the golfer without his mind breaking up the swing into a series of prescribed movements. When we don’t flow such as when we first learn to dance, we might sacrifice rhythm and style for technique. We concentrate so hard on getting it right, that our movements are forced and we forget to have fun.

Many of us experience frustration trying to control life partners, elderly parents and children - perhaps all at the same time. Although we mean well, “We know what’s good for them,” we have to respect the will and flow of others. Like love, we cannot compel, but instead, set it free like a bird and hope that it flies back to us. Carl Jung aptly said, “The shoe that fits us so well, pinches the foot of another.”

Instead of feeling depleted and frustrated, learn how to flow. Here are some suggestions:
  • If you are forcing an issue and are not successful, take a break for awhile.
  • Sit quietly in a natural setting and tap into your peaceful, loving self. Feel how large and infinite your spirit is. Absorb the landscape, whether an ocean, a garden, or a picture. Intuitive thoughts will flow freely and inspire you. They will come to you.
  • Play music that revitalizes and inspires you. Music provides the necessary stimulus to induce flow.
  • Say no to activities or people who rob you of your quiet time.
  • Surround yourself with positive people to build up your energy levels. We do absorb energy from others. Be careful of what kind of energy it is.
  • Be patient with your goals. Tackle small, manageable goals. See what’s right in front of you and immerse yourself in it and appreciate this small accomplishment. Ease up on a deadline for your grand vision.
  • As things unfold, flow with the changes and accept different directions, criticism and detours along the way. You might find greater success and happiness than you originally envisioned.

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Southampton College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WHLI 1100AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com

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Content copyright © 2014 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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