[BLOG] Hold Your Horses

Dr. Kenneth Degazon, MD
Associate Director Of Clinical Research
St. Hope Foundation

PATIENCE; This character trait is in decline. Face it. Our need for immediate gratification and loss of patience has put it on the endangered species list.

“A study from the University Of Massachusetts found that at least a quarter of internet users abandon an online video if it takes more than five seconds to load and half jump ship after 10 seconds.” Our ability to wait isn’t better in our day to day life activities.

Why patience matters? Mastering patience and showing self control is a quality that makes you more engaged, confident and even healthier member of society. Personality Studies have shown that the capacity to exercise self control correlates with high self-esteem and better interpersonal skill. Many of us are impatient at times. Losing control of our patience hurts not only us, but those around us. impatience damages out relationships. Impatience raises our stress level and is unhealthy .

Others often see impatient people as arrogant, insensitive, and impulsive. They can be viewed as poor decision makers, because they make quick judgments or interrupt people. Some people will even avoid impatient people, because of their poor people skills and bad tempers.

In adults and children the development of patience involves both nature and nurture. The biological roots of impatience includes a fight or flight reflex, which kicks in as a survival mechanism during stressful situation. Children at times may seem as the least patient on this planet. The Prefrontal cortex of the brain which is involved in self regulation is still developing into our 20’s and this contributes to children and teenagers being more impulsive.

Many of us have no excuse for being impatient, we are not impulsive children or teenagers. Let’s all practice Persistence, acceptance and calmness.When you feel impatient, it’s important to get out of this frame of mind as quickly as possible.

Try these strategies:

  • Take deep, slow breaths, and count to 10. Doing this helps slow your heart rate, relaxes your body, and distances you emotionally from the situation.
  • Learn to manage your emotions . Remember, you have a choice in how you react in every situation. You can choose to be patient, or choose not to be: it’s all up to you.
  • Force yourself to slow down.
  • Practice active listening and empathetic listening . Make sure you give other people your full attention, and patiently plan your response to what they say.
  • Remind yourself that your impatience rarely gets others to move faster – in fact, it can interfere with other people’s ability to perform complex or highly-skilled work.
  • All you’re doing is creating more stress, which is completely unproductive. Try to talk yourself out of your impatient frame of mind. Remind yourself of the outcome of your impatience. If your impatience causes you to react in anger toward others, remember there is zero tolerance for this type of behavior. You must seek professional help through anger management programs.

Keep Calm & Carry On ”

References: Psychological Science Journal Science Daily (University of Massachusetts abstract on