Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Don't Stress Over Patience

Impatience in Society

The Webster’s Dictionary defines being patient as “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; not hasty or impetuous; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.” In the modern, high-speed world, having patience can be difficult for many people. It is easy to get upset at things taking longer than expected. Complaints are welcomed by many businesses and services. It’s almost as if being impatient is accepted as a norm by today’s society.
No Patience Equals Stress

There are several risks associated with being impatient. Poor concentration, losing control over situations, and irritability can lead to the loss of personal relationships. Others can lose respect, become frustrated by the lack of support or caring, and think impatience equals an inability to handle stress or change. Many people waste energy worrying about future events before they even happen. So much energy is spent on the future that the good things of the present are missed. Impatience can inevitably lead to stress. Yet, many people do not understand the consequences or stress derived from having a lack of patience, over long periods of time.
Health-related Risks of Stress

There are also health related risks of stress. Preoccupation with events, or fixating on small, uncontrollable details can increase health risks. Being stressed lowers the body's resistance to illness and disease. It causes a rise in blood pressure, fatigue, pain in the neck and back, and in some research studies is determined to be a cause of cancer (The American Institute of Stress, 2007). Stress can lead some to increase the use of alcohol or turn to drug use.
Learning to Have Patience and Coping with Stress

Let’s explore how being more patient can lead to better health. Being able to deal with stress as it happens is the easiest way to stop it before it becomes a problem. Take a deep breath and be open to suggestions from those who know that patience is a virtue. Here is common advice given to help succeed in being patient and deal with stress:

* Take one day at a time, or one problem at a time
* Accept that you are human and it takes time!
* Step back and reframe your perspective
* Make short-term, realistic goals
* Stop the self-doubt - love yourself
* Let go of worries, especially things you can't control
* Confront your fears
* Look at change as a positive thing
* Exercise, eat well
* Stay occupied with something you enjoy, like a hobbie or sports
* Don't withdraw but rather talk with a friend or counselor

Sources: Coping.org, The American Institute of Stress