Ventilation for frustration
Published: Friday, October 21st, 2005
Volcanoes don’t spew fire, tsunamis don’t drown nations and earthquakes don’t wreck tall buildings in San Francisco due to some logical, scientific explanation that usually involves tectonic plates. The earth does these things because it’s frustrated. Years of misuse, abuse and potholes on East Rankin lead our dear planet into harboring all of its frustration into a well-buried cell. Eventually there is no room left in that cell and it all has to come out somewhere. Sort of like all the pressure that builds up in a very red and ready zit. This frustration-stuffing phenomenon is not at all exclusive to Mother Earth. People do it, too. Unfortunately, they often prefer to do it with handguns while cruising down the highway. Although frustration does lead to very lucrative American markets – think alcohol sales and anger management course fees – overall it’s not a beneficial thing. Just ask the guy with the bleeding ulcer. So what can we do to dissolve these shards of anger before they build up enough to cripple a camel? Many people erroneously turn to drugs or alcohol. This is not an answer but merely a cover-up that will simply lead to bigger frustration explosions followed by that aforementioned bleeding ulcer. Besides, my boyfriend is enamored with that Danny Bonaduce show and every Sunday I see what drug abuse does to the ex-Partridge kid. The guy gets all tight-lipped, hunches up like a gorilla and often punches something that breaks his hand. On the other end of the drug-induced scale, many drugs – like alcohol — are actually depressants. This leads to a lot of frustrated people sitting around looking all maudlin like those ladies in early Degas paintings. Punching things – that don’t break your hand – is a very good cure for frustration. There should be certain rules, however, before one dons a boxing glove. Whatever you punch should not be a) expensive, b) supporting a roof, wall, or house frame or c) alive. Favorable punching items include pillows, couches and stuffed animals that smile really big like nothing is ever wrong. One should also shy from anything metal or glass. If one can’t get to the nearest boxing gym, one can always use other sports to allay anxiety. Soccer is a fine one – I’ve sent many a dropkick past the equator. But you also must beware of throwing mud at players who score on you when you’re playing goalie. Not that I’d know from experience, but I hear they hand out these things called red cards. Although it is one of the most quick-working cures, sweat-inducing physical activity is not the only way to rid ourselves of flaming frustration. Meditation mollifies minds. Yoga yields euphoria. A good soak in a hot tub, preferably with vanilla bubble bath, is another pacifying solution (pun intended). It’s hard to be angry when your muscles are so relaxed they feel as if they’re going to fall off the bone. It’s also hard to be angry when you’re laughing. So pick up a book, call a funny friend or rent a comedy – like Jaws. We must not forget to ask what makes us so angry in the first place. It’s the only way we can fix it. If it’s your job, get a new one. Your messy house? Get a maid. The loud, ticking clock in the bedroom? Get one that’s digital and doesn’t glow bright green harsh enough to blind the dead. We can change a lot of things that get us riled with enough determination and a calmed-down mind. And we can always change our attitudes — provided we don’t run out of bubble bath.
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