Gosh, we are impatient.
I was in the grocery store and watched a gal switch checkout lines two times in 2 minutes. The line to her right seemed to be moving faster, so she hopped over one lane. I noticed she was looking a little frazzled, and when that line stalled for a price check, she jumped to another. I made a mental note of her progress (hey, I was stuck too!), and it just so happened if she had stayed in line one or two, she would have already been on her way.
Things like this happen all the time. A car will pass me in a rush, and 5 minutes later, I’m behind them at a traffic light.
How frustrating is waiting for a page to load on the internet?
Or the angst of navigating through all the prompts as an automated system handles your customer service issue, and you pound on 0 ten times screaming, “I JUST WANT TO TALK TO A PERSON!”
We are impatient in traffic, waiting for our food in a restaurant, or for someone to answer or return our call.
And please don’t get me going about Black Friday shopping and such.
Being impatient is a stressful way to exist. And if anxiety drives your impatience, you’re only making it worse.
One or two minutes will not make any measurable difference in your life, but patiently waiting will.
We live in a world where we expect everything to happen instantly.
We don’t plan for mishaps or mistakes, or delays.
Which is ridiculous.
My favorite hack?
Take a deep breath.
Coherent breathing is my favorite breathing technique. It can help you calm anxiety and get into a relaxed state. Try it!
- If you can, close your eyes. (Not if you’re driving, please!)
- Gently breathe in through your nose, mouth closed, for a count of six seconds.
- Don’t fill your lungs too much.
- Exhale for six seconds, and allow your breath to leave your body slowly and gently.
- Do this for 10 minutes, or until you calm yourself down.
- Be still and focus on how your body feels.
Try this a few times when you are NOT in the midst of a situation, so when you need to use it, you’ve had some practice.
I know you want a pill or a drink or a quick fix, but this works. It really does. Be patient. Try it.
I think we feed impatience by constantly feeling impatient. And we go around and around and around.
Our kids, our co-workers, and our friends are watching us.
Take a breath.
It catches on.