Decluttering and ways to deal with frustration

This is a red orange color graphic figure baring angry frustrated white teeth and big eyes with red lines on top of head suggesting anger exploding out of the top of head. Shown on a grey background.

I call clutter anything that stands between me and peace.

Frustration can clutter my mind with anger and other unhealthy symptoms. Frustration can be caused by many things. This article addresses the ways you can deal with frustration.

It can be frustrating when you can’t find something that you need. Another frustration may stem from feeling every time you get ahead one step something causes you to fall back two steps.

You know the expression ‘one step forward two steps back’. These feelings can and often do cause frustration, You can usually identify the types of frustration I just described.

There are frustrations too that permeate our being like a low-grade fever and we are unaware of the cause of these frustrations. This is what I want to address today in this article.

With a basic understanding of the emotion known as frustration, it will be easier to grasp the link between clutter and frustration. You may be surprised at how clutter can slither its way into our whole being without our knowledge or consent.

A man with angry face has smoke coming out of his ears!

Causes of frustration

Having too much clutter in your physical surroundings is one of the things that can frustrate you without your knowledge.

Frustration for me is one of the yuckiest feelings because it contains so many other negative feelings. Other feelings I associate with frustration are anger, a sense of feeling stuck, feeling less than, a feeling that things are always going to be this way and never change.

These feelings can and do stem from frustration.

All the great manifesters talk about living in the present moment and not attaching yourself to the outcome. This is far easier said than done.


Frustration and anger are complex emotions that can stem from a variety of sources, and can be an obstacle to decluttering. Other common causes of frustration are unmet expectations which is why it is a good idea not to attach yourself to the outcome. Someone told me once to do my best and forget the rest! This is ideal.

a bridge with a chunk removed from the middle thus making crossing impossible and an obstacle

We get frustrated too when we perceive a bunch of obstacles in the way of meeting our goals. Almost always a lack of control over a situation is very frustrating. When you encounter these challenges, you often feel a sense of irritation and helplessness, leading to feelings of frustration. 

An example of this may be when you are driving, in a rush and stuck in traffic. Yep, you should have left earlier.

Other factors like time constraints of sitting in traffic, unrealistic demands, or conflicts with others can contribute to raising your blood pressure and frustration levels. Understanding the root causes is essential for effectively managing and mitigating this powerful emotion.

Frustration Causes Anger

Anger frequently accompanies frustration, a feeling we are all too familiar with. When something gets in your way and thwarts your goal you may experience a surge of frustration and ultimately anger. 

It is a natural response and common feeling to be frustrated when your goals and desires are not coming easy despite all your efforts. The key is to identify the link between frustration and anger and learn to navigate these emotions constructively This will stop the knee-jerk reactions that uncontrolled anger usually sets off.

So frustration and angry feelings are natural. I learned it is my reaction to these feelings that is important for my self-preservation.

Underlying Conditions Causing Frustration

There is almost always an underlying condition or two that contribute to the intensity of our frustration, anger, and outbursts. Knowing your triggers also is key to controlling yourself.

Triggers can be stress due to poor health, lack of finances, fatigue, or unresolved issues from the past and these can amplify feelings of frustration. 

Recognizing these deeper layers is essential for developing targeted coping mechanisms. A critical step is to address the root causes, and then you can work towards long-term emotional well-being. 

I did tons of work around this topic in the form of stream-of-consciousness writing, some people use journaling which is on the same idea.

I have walked many folks through this method of writing and people resist until they try writing and find the magic for themselves. I would not continue using this writing method for 25 years if it didn’t work.

Ways to Deal with the Emotional Response from Frustration

Managing the emotional response to frustration is paramount for maintaining mental health. It took me a lot of practice to put my levels of frustration where they belong and some days are better than others.

We all have frustrating moments it is what we do with these feelings that matter. Last week was a tough one for me because I had to take a lot of precious time doing tasks I did not want to do.

I know exactly why I had such a visceral reaction to my frustrations. I also know without having kicked in my learned responses to frustration and anger I would have been in a far worse state.

First and foremost, identifying the source of frustration is key. I knew exactly why I was feeling the way I was feeling. I chose to continue with the task at hand because when I am done an important goal will be reached. 

Once identified, I implemented what I know works for me and this can alleviate frustration.

I would be remiss if I did not mention I use breathing techniques and take quick walks with the dogs. I was very aware of my breath and I did not once say ‘I don’t have time to walk’ otherwise I would have found no relief.

a note tacked to a corkboard stating take a deep breath

Some people practice mindfulness meditation and this works for them. Mindfulness meditation and mindset seem to be buzzwords today. Before you resist these ideas you may want to look into this. The way I see it is these practices would not have become so popular if they did not help many people.

Find the Source of Your Frustration

We talked about how crucial it is to pinpoint the source of your anxiety. Whether it’s a work-related challenge, interpersonal conflict, or personal goals not being met, understanding the specific trigger will allow you to develop solutions that work best for you.

This self-awareness will empower you to make informed decisions and take proactive steps toward resolving or mitigating your source of frustration.

Physical Symptoms of Frustration

Frustration is not only an emotional experience but it also affects your physical health. Recognizing these symptoms, such as muscle tension, increased heart rate, or headaches, is vital for understanding the impact of frustration on your overall well-being. 

By paying attention to these cues, you can nip these symptoms in the bud with some coping strategies. This will prevent the escalation of both emotional and physical symptoms.

I know my triggers and I plan accordingly. Learning anger management is worth its weight in gold. The self-righteous anger we feel only hurts us.

Antidotes for Frustration

There is not just one approach to navigating and minimizing frustration and anger. Some of us have a low tolerance to frustration and we can learn how to predict this and the ensuing anger. By predicting frustrating triggering situations you can arm yourself beforehand, or avoid the situation altogether.

This is as simple as changing your thoughts, not necessarily easy, simple in theory. Like everything this gets easier with practice.

Beyond that, altering habits that contribute to frustration, like incorporating deep-breathing exercises when you are frustrated, engaging in physical activity, and practicing relaxation techniques are all effective strategies. 

Find what best works for you and build a toolkit for yourself to help you deal with stressful times when your level of frustration rises.

Be proactive

Taking a proactive stance against frustration involves not only identifying its source but also implementing positive changes. This might include setting realistic goals, improving communication, or seeking support from others. 

By actively addressing the root causes and making constructive changes, you can break the cycle of frustration and cultivate a more positive and fulfilling life. How much do you want to find peace?

build good habits is written on a chalkboard and held by a pair of hands

Change Habits

Habits play a significant role in perpetuating frustration. Replacing negative habits with good habits can contribute to a more positive outlook.

This might involve restructuring daily routines, adopting a growth mindset, or seeking professional guidance to break ingrained patterns. 

Changing habits is a powerful step towards creating an environment that minimizes frustration and fosters personal growth.

Deep Breaths

In the heat of frustration, taking deep breaths can be a simple yet effective technique for immediate relief. Deep breathing helps regulate the nervous system, calming the body’s physiological response to frustration.

Incorporating mindful breathing exercises into your day helps and with your tool kit handy you will be able to manage stressful situations better and diffuse frustration.

Physical Activity

Engaging in physical activity is a powerful antidote to frustration. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters, and provides a healthy outlet for pent-up frustration and energy. A brisk walk and being aware of my breath are my go-to tools to relieve stress.

Whether it’s a brisk walk, a workout session, or a recreational activity, physical movement can significantly reduce frustration levels and contribute to overall mental and emotional balance.

Move a muscle, change a thought!

Relaxation Techniques

Incorporating relaxation techniques into your routine can be instrumental in managing frustration. Practices such as meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery help calm the mind and reduce stress.

By regularly incorporating these techniques into daily life, you can build resilience against frustration and enhance your overall emotional well-being.

The American Psychological Association has a lot of information on the topics of frustration and anger. Don’t suffer alone, talk to someone. There is no shame to ask for help. Declutterbuzz is a supportive, private, safe, and free community where we help each other.

If you are feeling frustrated, restless, and stressed decluttering is a great way to find your path to peace. Decluttering your mind goes hand in hand with decluttering your physical environment.

Check out 21 Wicked Easy Decluttering Tips!


Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed and always a few laughs!

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