Annoyance, frustration and anger can be challenging emotions to work with. We often judge ourselves for feeling frustrated, equating this emotion with negativity or perhaps thinking it makes us a ‘bad person’. Other times, we might feel so righteous about our frustration that we hold to it tightly.
By exploring how frustration feels in the body, we can learn to be present as it arises, neither avoiding nor grasping at it. In the resulting space that’s created, we can invite in self-compassion and understanding. After all, these emotions are not good or bad, nor right or wrong, they are what make us human.
In this guided meditation, Mindfulness Exercises founder Sean Fargo asks us to recall a past moment of slight annoyance or mild frustration. By sitting with this sensation and observing it, we learn we can let it move as it wants to.
Please listen in a safe, quiet place where you can be relatively free from distraction. Find a posture that balances comfort with alertness, whether standing, seated, or lying down. May this meditation be of benefit to you in your mindfulness journey.
Please remember that mindfulness practice is not a replacement for therapy. Listen with care and self-compassion and practice within your window of tolerance. If this, or any other episode, triggers overwhelming, uncomfortable feelings, contact your healthcare provider.
When recalling a moment of frustration, it’s important to practice within your window of tolerance, choosing a workable memory. It’s not our goal to disturb the mind, but rather to gently and kindly expand our capacity to be present with discomfort.
When working with past memory, we do so not to practice self-judgment or to criticize our past behavior. Most of us are well-practiced in this already! Instead, we sit with these memories as a means of shedding light on how our own minds contribute to our pain and suffering.
There is nothing wrong or bad about the experience of frustration; it’s a universal human emotion. In meditation, however, we might see how our reactivity to emotion contributes to unnecessary harm, whether to ourselves or others.
Spending time with the felt sensation of annoyance or frustration invites us to extend ourselves (and others) more compassion. In episode #045, Easing into Compassion, Sean reminds us that the act of compassion requires the presence of suffering. Any moment of discomfort then becomes an opportunity to give ourselves and others more grace.
To explore more ways to work with challenging emotions such as annoyance, frustration and anger, visit the following free mindfulness resources:
About Sean Fargo:
Sean Fargo is a former Buddhist monk and the founder of Mindfulness Exercises. The online platform, which has shared free and premium mindfulness resources with over 3 million people worldwide, has now certified over 500 Mindfulness Teachers.
Sean is the lead instructor for the teacher training program, a unique self-paced approach which invites world-renowned mindfulness teachers to share their insights and experiences. Sean has taught mindfulness and meditation for corporations including Facebook, Google and Tesla and for health and government organizations, prisons and hospitals around the world.