Use The ABCD Method To Deal With Frustration

Use the ABCD Method to Deal with Frustration

We get frustrated by a lot of things. Some make sense like our car breaking down. Others, less so, like everyday traffic. To deal with everyday frustrations like these, employ the ABCD method.

Photo by jsellger2

The problem with many of our frustrations is that we irrationally expect that totally normal things won't happen to us. The phone call we weren't expecting. The person in front of us at the checkout line who can't remember their PIN. How dare they? The problem isn't really those other people. It's our expectations. You can adjust your expectation with what notable psychotherapist and researcher Albert Ellis calls the ABCD method. As tips blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree explains:

A is adversity. Traffic is awful.

B is your beliefs. And often they're irrational. "This shouldn't happen to me." Well, guess what, Bubba? It is happening.

C is consequences. You get angry, frustrated or depressed. In very few cases can you change A. But you can change B. And that will change C. So let's bring in the 4th letter.

D: Dispute your irrational beliefs. "Wait a second. When did the universe guarantee me a trouble-free existence? It didn't. Traffic has happened before. It will happen again. And I will survive."Look for beliefs that hold the words "should", "ought" or "must." That's where the problems lie.

Not every problem you ever have is going to be something you can make disappear with a simple attitude adjustment. Losing your job or an unexpected medical expense is always going to cause some stress. But you can save yourself some trouble by not already being worked up over the little things. The less you externalise the trivial problems that you can already expect, the more prepared you'll be to handle the big problems.

The Secret To Never Being Frustrated Again [Barking Up the Wrong Tree]


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