Have you ever been in the situation where it just goes wrong. All of it. All the time.
Starting with the alarm clock and being a bit late. Hurry up and the kettle is not working. I cleaned the kitchen yesterday and I know I got water down in that thing the kettle is sitting in. But it should work. No tea or coffee. Trying to clean it. Trying to make it work and after 10 minutes – setting me back even later – finding out the plug is not in.
Forgot to buy cat food. The cat is looking at me. Finding some scraps of cat food and those pellets he doesn’t like. Oh well, we need to suffer all of us for the good of humanity. But I don’t like the way he is looking at me.


Something for breakfast. Milk on my weet-bix. And no sugar. Like eating the desk in school. The one’s made of this wood-substitute. Except the desk probably tastes better than weet-bix without sugar.
Finally, out the door. Where is my mobile? Back. And finding out that I never plugged it in last night. One bar left. Or less, I think.
Combi. Late. And one seat left. In the front. And the first one handing me money of course in 10-cents and 20-cents. And “four” and handing me a R50-note. Counting and handing money back. “after the robot” and that is the one with all the coins and I am not even finished trying to count. Giving up. At least the driver is human. Pointing at the ashtray. Just dropping it in.
Getting off and stepping in a puddle of water.
Can you see yourself in this? Have you ever been there? Maybe this is overdone a bit (I had fun writing it, though), but what do you do when it happens? Cry? Stamp your feet?
It is called frustration.
Science tells us that it can be either internal or external. External is of course all the things which goes wrong that morning and which we cannot control. But we know that.
Because frustration is linked to anger, we get into a spin where it just gets worse. Even small things will now be far bigger. Things we would otherwise have just ignored have now the size of Mount Everest.
So, it is not a matter of things actually getting worse. It is ourselves who are building it up.
And here is the danger: if we start to get aggressive or violent, we lose control of ourselves because of things we cannot control anyway. In essence, we try to take it out on something or someone. Strangling a pillow is harmless, but kicking the cat is not.
Frustration and anger-management is
linked. Of course. It is the art of controlling one self and somehow get the temperature down. Science says that when we recognise that the factors are outside of our control, we have a chance.
If we do not control the associated anger part we have road-rage, violence, language, rude signs, and all the rest.
Some people actually take medication, but the best part of us is probably ending up being in a ‘bad mood’ that day.
The solution: Take a deep breath. Go back to the starting point. Analyse the impact of that first thing. So, I am a bit late. Move faster. No coffee. Get one when I get to the taxi-rank. Even if it is tea. The five roses one. Is it really worth getting excited about?
It is possible to turn ‘that day’ into a laugh – maybe only in the evening though.