Last week we looked at the intimate relationship between patience and anger, the symptoms of impatience and finding your triggers. This week we explore the psychological impact of losing patience and its consequences.
The psychological impact of losing patience and its consequences
When we lose patience we invariably suffer with the difficult and uncomfortable emotions of frustration, stress and anger. Indeed, with so many negative emotions associated with a lack of patience, it’s surprising we don’t prioritize overcoming impatience more.
In reality though, I think the impatience evident in those who are actively working to overcome it is a testimony to how challenging cultivating more patience can be. I also believe that all too often we resign ourselves to having to be a slave to our emotions but fear not – this needn’t be the case!
Frustration is an incredibly uncomfortable emotion that we experience when a situation doesn’t play out the way we wish or when we seem to be making little to no progress. It happens when we are struggling to find a clear solution – when we just don’t know what will solve the issue at hand. Our frustration can be overwhelming when we are impatient within ourselves.
When we are in a state of frustration we can feel discouraged, low and sometimes even hopeless – a precursor to a depressive state.
Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
There are a wide variety of symptoms and they fall into three main categories, these being psychological, emotional and physical.
Psychological symptoms include memory problems, persistent worrying and poor concentration and the effects of these can serve to actually increase stress. What impact would poor concentration or memory problems have on our work, for example?
Emotional symptoms range from mood swings, feeling overwhelmed, an inability to relax and even, in more severe cases, depression.
Surprisingly stress can affect our physical well being too, in some cases causing colds, a loss of sex drive and aches and pains.
Invariably when we lose patience we undergo stress, especially if there are time restraints on when something needs to be done or when we need to arrive at an important meeting, for example.
Needless to say to be impacted by stress regularly has a major emotional impact and can leave us mentally drained causing our daily functioning to suffer.
Anger, conflict and hurt
Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility and – when acted upon – usually escalates the situation, leading to increased conflict and emotional hurt. Anger, if uncontrolled, has the power to destroy relationships and leave those harboring it bitter and miserable.
There are also practical implications for those that exhibit impatience – car accidents and injuries due to poor health and safety practices can be the result of someone who has been impatient. This often causes us to feel low when we suffer from the practical implications of not having optimal health.
If you lose patience with a big project at work, for your hobby or even for an important life goal not only are you more likely to quit but, if that isn’t an option, your performance will more than likely suffer. This can lead to reduced confidence in our abilities.
Regret and reduced self-esteem
More often than not when we have acted out our impatience in a hostile and negative way we experience regret, which, if left unchecked, can lead to reduced self-esteem. It is vital in these moments to use regret positively by apologizing and making amends. It is also vital in these moments to ensure you practice self-compassion, reminding yourself that you are human and that everyone makes mistakes.
If you would like to read more on self-esteem please read my Tiny Buddha article titled ‘Learning to love yourself; 3 steps to instantly boost your self-esteem’.
Likewise, if you suffer with a relentless inner critic please read my article titled ‘How to silence your inner critic and become your own best friend through self-compassion’.
Stay tuned – next week we explore the psychological impact of having more patience and examine how we can begin to cultivate more patience.
‘Patience: The Art Of Peaceful Living’ By Allan Lokos
Do you recognize yourself as having suffered from any of these impacts from lacking patience? Did you find it surprising just how many downsides there are to being impatient? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.