By: Dr. Mike Olpin
A student of my stress management class asked me this excellent question:
What’s the difference between stress and being frustrated? or is there one? I still kind of feel like they’re different things.
For example, I’ll feel frustrated or irritated that things aren’t going the way I’d like them to in an aspect of my life, or if I feel like I did something I wish I wouldn’t have.
But when I visualize stress, I feel it’s more like when I’m rushed or under pressure to do something while meeting certain criteria, or maybe if I don’t know what to do in a situation.
Any thoughts or advice on clarifying things?
Here’s my response:
Frustration is a feeling combined with a set of thoughts about something. Events happen, you interpret them in certain ways and the resulting feeling that you pinpoint is frustration. It might also be anxiety or overwhelm or panic or some other feeling. What you feel depends on how you interpret the event … always. These feelings don’t just happen to you. If that were possible, everyone who experiences the same situations would end up with the same feelings, but they don’t. So you think about something in a certain way and you end up with the feeling.