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Conquering Stress! With Dr. Arlene—Impatience Causes Stress

Posted: Monday, August 7, 2017 – 11:19 AM

By Dr. Arlene Barro

Is impatience causing stress or is stress causing impatience? Both can happen. If we manage impatience, we will reduce stress. Let us focus on that.

Good And Bad Impatience

Impatience and stress are like cholesterol. We have good and bad cholesterol. The same is true of impatience and stress. We need both to jumpstart us. They ignite urgency, which we need in a limited amount. We must carefully control impatience, stress and urgency. We do not want our bodies in a constant state of stress which can negatively impact our health.

Think about giving your car a little gas to start it. Too much gas can prevent the car from starting. Our bodies function in a similar fashion. The difference is that each of us needs to understand how to keep our bodies in balance. That means we need to acknowledge our body’s communications and not ignore them. Headaches, difficulty sleeping and chronic fatigue are stress warnings. We must change our behavior to eliminate stress warnings to prevent escalation. We do not want stress to manage us.

Positive Self-Talk

What triggers your impatience? Traffic is a common trigger. If you think negative thoughts about the traffic, you will fuel your impatience and stress. Distract yourself. Think about something that makes your feel good. Listen to music or sing as I do. Do not allow the trigger to manage you. Instead, use distraction techniques to ignore the trigger. You can implement this strategy for all triggers. If you focus on the major ones, you will automatically start using distraction techniques on minor triggers.

Humor is a highly effective strategy to diffuse stress. If you are speaking with someone to resolve a matter and you feel the ugly head of impatience emerging, say something humorous to make both of you laugh. You would be amazed how laughter can help you achieve your goal and eliminate the impatience.

Remember to think positive thoughts and say good things to yourself and others. Frequently, we are quick to criticize ourselves and others. Let us try to change what we can using positive strategies. Watch your impatience level drop.

Time Management

Allowing the right amount of time to get things done for yourself and those who assist you is essential to manage impatience. Figure out the amount of time you need for daily tasks. Be sure to include travel time, meals  and relaxation. Factoring in the unexpected is an interesting challenge.

Prepare a written daily schedule which is realistic and eliminates rushing. If you have the mindset of “I must get things done,” you will always have some impatience which is necessary. Remember you only want the right amount. Implementing time management strategies will enable you to balance all stress triggers, which will reduce your risk of health challenges to thrive.

Upcoming seminar: “Conquering Stress With Dr. Arlene Ignites Success,” on Aug. 22 or Sept. 19. See more on the Conquering Stress page at

Questions? Email Responses could appear in her next column.

Dr. Arlene Barro, the creator of the Right Fit Method, is a UCLA-trained behavioral educational psychologist and professional speaker. She is the author of WIN Without Competing!, a business, career, and personal strategist and founder/CEO of barro global search, inc. on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood. Episodes of her radio show are available at

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