Do you live your life at warp speed? Are you thrown off by unforeseen complications? Are you frantic to meet deadlines or goals? Do you hate to wait? Are you a slave to the clock? Do you lose it when your computer IT guy takes too long to diagnosis and fix a problem? Do you find yourself antsy and frustrated when other people go at a slower pace? Are you unable to sit or stand still and constantly fidgeting?
Well, the price you pay is huge. First and foremost, your hurried pace and unease rob you of the ability to savor the moment. Consequently you rarely feel peace. Second, you refuse to accept that some things unfold in a time frame that is out of your control. Third, your controlling and abrasive manner pushes other people away. This often backfires when others react to your by behavior by intentionally slowing things down. Fourth, you often lose your connection with people or situations and get consumed by your own frustration, anxiety, and myopic reality.
It’s usually the case that one of our early caretakers had the “impatience gene” that we inherited. Impatience is a fear-anger attitude. We “freaked out” about time issues and are controlled by time. Therefore, we are angry because we have unrealistic expectations about how long a given activity “should” take and feel upset when it inevitably takes longer than we planned.
If you’re tired of your impatience and the havoc it is wreaking within yourself and with those around you, there is a remedy.
Give up. Turn it over. Accept that things go at a different pace than you’d prefer. When you begin to feel that familiar “antsiness,” the first thing to do is pause, step back and take a few measured breaths, while repeating, “Stop. Breathe. Relax.”
The underlying emotion behind impatience is fear. To dispel it you need to move the pure energy out of your body. As silly as it sounds, shiver and quiver. Tremble like a dog at the vet. Up the spine. Out your arms, legs, and hands. Do it hard, fast and with abandon for literally 90 seconds or until you start laughing. If you practice this whenever you feel impatient, you will notice a feeling of calm overtaking your body.
2. Focus on Constructive Thoughts
After moving the physical energy by shivering, it’s important to think constructive thoughts about the situation, such as:
* Everything is all right.
* Everything will be okay.
* This isn’t life or death
* Life goes at a different pace than I’d like.
Focusing on the reality will bring you to a more centered space. Only then can you look within, and make another choice besides exhibiting your impatience. You’re in a better position to restore perspective andfind the constructive thing to say and do.
While waiting, try repeating a constructive thought, such as: “I don’t like to wait but my spouse always looks so good when he’s ready.”
3. Maybe the Best Thing to Do is Nothing
Maybe enjoy the scenery.
Maybe hum a tune.
Possibly you need speak up lovingly with something like: “I need to be at work right now, but I”ll give you a call later this morning.”
If you decide to speak up, whatever you say, make sure it’s NOT something snarky or critical.
4. Focus on the Benefit of Not Reacting
The benefits of getting the upper hand over impatience are that you avoid the feelings of disconnection with friends and family. In addition, others will feel more comfortable around you. You’ll enjoy your environment more and have time to smell the roses.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to maintain a healthier perspective about what is really important. You will feel more love and peace as you begin to realize you’re not the center of the universe and that people and things move at their own pace.
When we hold onto our belief about how things should be unfolding, we’re apt to miss out on enjoying the present moment.
It’s much better to appreciate what today offers, rather than trying to engineer a certain future outcome.