Is Impatience Causing You Stress?

You know that your daily commute, a sleepless night, and work deadlines can stress you out, but what about impatience?

Woman getting impatient with her computer, is your impatience causing you stress?

We’ve all been there. Sitting in traffic tapping your fingers on the steering wheel and obsessively looking at the clock. Then, the inevitable happens. You get angry, maybe yell at the unknown perpetrator and lay on your horn. It’s a common enough situation, but is it really helping?

Studies suggest that what seems like a cathartic release is actually making things far worse, and your impatience is making you more stressed. How? Well, impatience can affect your sleep, encourage a sense of frustration and helplessness, reinforce negative emotions, and make it difficult to focus on the present.

How we choose to react to moments that remind us that the world doesn’t revolve around our timetable can have a massive impact on our ongoing health and happiness. So, how can you develop more patience?

Slow down

Taking a deep breath and focusing on the present can help replace anxious thoughts about looming deadlines and time constraints. Remember that you do have time.

Practice empathy

Those other cars on the road all have places to be. Remembering that every person stuck in traffic with you is experiencing stress, worry, and the panic of an ever-lengthening to-do list can really help put things into perspective.

Related: Yoga Poses That Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Be clear about what’s causing your impatience

Are you feeling isolated? Sleep deprived? Hungry? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time or that you have too much to do? Asking questions like that can help you identify common causes of impatience so you can address them accordingly.

Practice delaying gratification

With two-day shipping, fast food, and instant access to all the information the world has to offer, it’s a wonder we can wait for anything. Purposefully putting yourself in situations that force you to wait for what you want—waiting in line, learning a new skill, or taking the scenic route—can really make a difference.

Set realistic expectations

If your commute generally takes an hour, don’t expect that time to be cut in half just because you’re running late. Understanding how long it takes to do, make, or learn something can help you establish realistic expectations for yourself and others.

Stop overthinking situations that don’t go your way

Your child is not purposely trying to destroy you when slowly tying their shoes, and getting frustrated about it will certainly not make it better.

Related: Nervous Habits That May Be Affecting Your Health

Developing patience can definitely feel like an overwhelming task at times, but it’s not impossible. Like all great things, it just takes time.


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