Why do i have no patience anymore

Loss of Patience - Depression Resources, Education About Depression and Unipolar Depression


I seem to lose my patience very quickly with everything !!! its really effecting my family and boyfriend. i am so quick to get a bad temper and i get in a mood over things that aren’t woth getting mad about . im just very easily agitated and my patience is out the window. what is wrong with me ?? sometimes i feel like i need to be on meds to keep me sane and to always be anice person i jsut feel i’m always mean , testy and ready to fly off the handle. please help ! its ruining my life !

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I agree that you need a consultation with a Psychiatrist in order to be evaluated for medication. The type of loss of temper you are describing could be a result of depression. Among the symptoms of depression are: agitation, sadness, anger and loss of temper, either sleeping too much or difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, either loss of appetite or eating too much and weight gain, loss of libido or sexual desire and low self esteem. There can also be thoughts of not wanting to live and even of wishing to commit suicide. A person does not need to experience all of these symptoms to be diagnosed with depression.

There are factors that can worsen depressive symptoms such as drinking alcohol or using drugs such as marijuana. People tend to mistakenly believe that drugs and alcohol make them feel better but the reverse is usually the result.

There are different types of depression that can be affecting you and among these are Dysthymia, Major Depression or Bipolar Disorder. Depression is often accompanied by anxiety and worry.

Along with medication it is recommended that you enter psychotherapy in order that you learn how to identify and control those thoughts that cause you to experience many of the symptoms described above. The type of therapy is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

- Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

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Impatient? Why and How to Practice Patience

Source: Pixabay

What is patience? I like to start with the dictionary. "Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty, or annoyance without getting angry or upset." I don’t know anyone whose life is free of these three. In fact, I can’t recall a single day in my own life when at least one of them didn't make an appearance.

For many years, my reaction to the presence of any one of the three was to get “angry”—or at least “upset.” Then I realized that this response served only to make an already stressful and unpleasant situation worse. So I began making a conscious effort to respond to “delay, difficulty, or annoyance” differently. Sometimes the best I could do was “tolerate” their presence. But I kept at it and, with practice, I became better able to “accept” them open-heartedly as an inevitable part of life.

When I could do this—tolerate and sometimes even accept delay, difficulty, or annoyance—I noticed two things. First, being patient is a way of treating myself with compassion. Compassion is the act of reaching out to those who are suffering—including ourselves. I definitely suffer when I’m impatient because a lack of patience is a stress response to whatever is going on in my life. I can feel the stress in both my mind and my body. And so, cultivating patience is a way of taking care of myself, which is the essence of self-compassion.

Source: Pixabay

Second, I noticed that being patient gave rise to a feeling of equanimity—a calmness of mind that makes it easier to ride life’s ups and downs without being tossed about like a boat in a storm. Seeing the correlation between patience and enhanced self-compassion and equanimity convinced me of the value of this practice. I thought, “Hmm. Less suffering and stress, coupled with more calm acceptance of life as it is…sounds good. ” Here’s how I recommend that you undertake the practice of patience. (Note: This is an approach to transforming thoughts and emotions that I set out more fully in my books, How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow and How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide)

1. Recognize that impatience has arisen.

This may not be easy at first. When things aren’t going our way (for example, we’re stuck in traffic), we tend to think that the cause of our impatience is external to us—what’s going on “out there.” But, of course, the cause is what’s going on in our own minds—that is, our response to whatever circumstances we’re facing. So start by setting the intention to watch for impatience arising in your own mind as a response to not getting what you want right away.

You may know some of your triggers already: being put on hold for a long time; getting stuck in a long line; struggling to figure out a computer problem; facing an extended wait at the doctor’s office; having to listen to someone take what seems to be an interminably long time to explain something simple (this last one being a trait of mine that tests my own family’s patience!).

Notice how impatience arises when we’re not getting our way—specifically, when people or our environment aren’t conforming to our expectations, even in circumstances over that we have no control (for example, the flow of traffic or the length of a line). Our expectations are often out of synch with reality. I can think of four ways in which this is true, and all four can be triggers for impatience.

First, we tend to expect the environment to conform to our expectations: no traffic jams; no absence of parking spaces near our destination; no long lines; no airport delays; no waiting too long for food to arrive at a restaurant.

Second, we tend to expect people to conform to our expectations. They ought to behave the way we think they should behave. “That woman ahead of me in the check-out line should not be making small talk with the cashier.” “If he said he’d phone at 3:00, he should phone at 3:00.” Even if we’re “right” (it is polite, after all, to call at the time you say you will), the fact remains that people often don’t live up to our expectations.

Source: Pixabay

Third, our expectations are often unrealistic when it comes to mastering new skills, whether it’s taking up a new craft or figuring out a new computer application or learning a new do-it-yourself fix-it skill. We think we should be able to master new skills quickly, no matter how foreign or difficult they are to us.

Fourth, our expectations are almost always unrealistic when it comes to what goes on in our minds. We think we should be able to control what thoughts and what emotions arise. But unwelcome thoughts and emotions pop up all the time. It’s the nature of the mind to think and to emote; in my experience, there’s no stopping it. Certainly being impatient doesn’t put a stop to it!

Think about these four categories of expectations and see if you can pinpoint which ones you tend to be unrealistic about in your own life. This alone can help you recognize when you’re responding with impatience.

2. Investigate how impatience feels in your mind and in your body.

Allowing yourself to really feel the impatience is a major step toward accepting its presence. This is important because, in my experience, I can’t begin to transform a stressful mental state until I accept that I’m caught up in it. So, work on becoming well-acquainted with how impatience feels. Is your mind calm or agitated? Is your body relaxed or tensed? I have yet to experience impatience as pleasant in either my mind or my body. And the realization that it feels unpleasant helps motivate me to try and change the way I respond when I’m faced with “delay, difficulty, or annoyance”our three friends from the dictionary definition.

3. Begin to transform impatience into patience.

This takes practice—patient practice. And because patience is an act of self-compassion, I hope you’ll treat yourself with compassion over your inability to be patient at times. That said, here are some strategies to help transform impatience into patience.

Let’s start with those times when the environment or people aren’t conforming to your expectations: for example, you’re stuck in a traffic jam. First, notice that you’re responding with impatience. Second, pay attention to how it feels in your mind and in your body. Then ask yourself: “Is there anything I can do to change the situation without making matters worse for myself or others?” If the answer is “no” (which it almost always will be), then see if you can find what I’ll call “the good” in the situation. By this I mean, begin to focus on something pleasant or interesting while you’re waiting.

This is a mindfulness practice, meaning you’re making a conscious choice—backed up by effort—to pay attention to everything that’s going on in your field of awareness. When I feel impatience arise, I can almost always find something in my present moment experience that arouses my curiosity or interest. This allows me to respond, not in “anger” or “upset” to what’s going on, but instead, with patience.

In a traffic jam, it might be checking out the different makes and models and ages of the cars on the road; it might be beginning to chat with another person in the car; it might be finding a radio station to listen to. If I’m in a long check-out line, it might be noticing with amusement the ridiculous headlines on those sensationalist magazines that sit in racks at the cashier stand; it might be looking at the people around me—how everyone looks different and has a whole life story of their own that I know nothing about; it might even be eavesdropping on the content of the chatter that’s holding me up!

Source: Pixabay

In fact, I try to cultivate friendliness toward those chatterers—to enjoy how they’re enjoying each other’s company. After all, what’s another minute or two in line? If like me, you have trouble standing for long, you can look for something to lean on or take a wide stance with your legs so you’re better balanced. Sometimes I bring a cane.

My point is that, yes, our first choice may be to institute a “no traffic jam on the freeway” rule and a “no chatting at the check-out counter” directive, but most of the time in life, we don’t get our first choice. When this happens, if the alternatives are to get upset and angry versus finding a way to make the experience enjoyable, or at least tolerable, I know which one feels better to me.

Then we have those unrealistic expectations about mastering new skills. That expectation partially stems from our cultural conditioning to hurry hurry hurry no matter what we’re doing. Yet, if we were to proceed more slowly and patiently, not only would we enjoy ourselves more, but we’re likely to do a better job of mastering the skill in question.

Source: Pixabay

Finally, about those unrealistic expectations that we should be able to control our minds. Instead of getting impatient (“upset“ or “angry”) about what arises in our minds, can we work on holding unwelcome thoughts and emotions more lightly—even sometimes with humor over the mind’s unruliness? Doing this is a compassionate response to what arises in the mind. In my new book, How to Wake Up, I quote a passage from one of the first Buddhist books I ever read, Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. He said this about the mind:

[Sometime] you will come face to face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of control and hopeless. No problem.

I love this quotation for two reasons. First, I find it reassuring to know that I’m not alone in having a shrieking, gibbering, madhouse on wheels for a mind. Second, Bhante says, “No problem.” I take “no problem” to mean that I can learn to be patient with this “crazy” mind. I can learn not to get upset and angry when unwelcome thoughts and emotions arise, but instead, to calmly accept their presence, knowing that with time the universal law of impermanence will help me out. Conditions will change, and so will my mind.

We can transform impatience into patience. It’s well worth the effort because being patient is a way of treating ourselves with compassion and it also helps us calmly accept things as they are, and that always feels good.

© 2013 Toni Bernhard. My newest book, How to Be Sick: Your Pocket Companion is available now!

Enough is enough for me: how to cross the threshold of patience

How the power of negative emotions drives you beyond the threshold of patience and helps you make the right decision and decide on changes

What do you have to “endure” in your life? Traffic jams? Boss's tediousness? Climate disadvantages? The whims of a child?

Of course, we have learned to simply not take some of these situations to heart - or even make them more pleasant for ourselves, since they are impossible to avoid anyway. And the other part was sent to us to train the ability to defend our borders and defend our interests.

What does the threshold of patience signal us? How to recognize the signals of the approaching threshold (one's own and another's)? How can it be "moved"? And should it be done?

The threshold of patience is not only an unambiguous signal of discomfort, but also a very strong internal motivator.

Threshold is a state when a person says: "That's enough, I've had enough. I won't tolerate this anymore!" Under the influence of this state, we go to serious changes in our lives or internal breakthroughs in the development of personality. And, it should be noted that this type of motivation (“I can’t stand it anymore”) is much more characteristic of the Russian mentality than the “sugar” prospects in the Future, for which I am ready to work in the Present.

And each of us has a different level of patience: whether we “get stuck” in spite of dissatisfaction, or whether we run away like scalded at the first sign of disappointment. People who get stuck do not know how to make decisions about passing the threshold. They usually wait for someone else to cross the threshold and end the situation. The opposite extreme is a person who crosses the threshold “like clockwork”. He may have many former friends, former wives, former hobbies and former jobs.

From the outside, reaching the threshold of patience can look not just emotional, but sometimes even destructive. A seemingly calm and unflappable person suddenly "explodes", banging his fist on the table or slamming doors, declaring to others his resolute "No" or even "Fuck you! .." But all this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In fact, reaching the threshold is a long and thorny path, often full of doubts, hesitation, self-consolation, attempts to maintain the current state of affairs.

And, of course, the more important and responsible decision is made, the longer will be the period of time from the first fleeting thought to the real "slamming the door".

Psychologists divide the process of making any important decision into three stages. The first is the gradual achievement of the “threshold”, when a person comes to the thought more and more insistently: “I don’t want to endure this anymore!”, but still does it. The second stage is the crossing of the threshold, when he says: “Enough! It's too much! I've had enough!" The third stage is figuring out what to do next.

Imagine that you make a promise to yourself to stop eating after six in the evening... And somehow you keep raiding the refrigerator. This means that you have not yet crossed the threshold - you have not "scared" yourself enough with your excess weight. But one day you are going to a party and suddenly realize that none of your favorite dresses no longer look good on you (or even do not fasten at all). A sign of a passed threshold is when you say to yourself “Enough!”, and it is no longer difficult for you to follow the decision made.

After you had to take your car to the service for the third time in the last six months, you bought a new one. Or the person you trusted deceived you so seriously that you stopped believing him forever. When you get another undeserved critique from your boss, or you get a ride on a previously promised project, you decide it's better to go through the risk and hassle of changing jobs than staying where you are. The third stage can be considered successfully completed when you have already found a new job and feel relieved that you no longer have to face the same inconvenience.

In the first stage, people can move towards the threshold and back, depending on what emotions they now outweigh - whether they see more pluses or minuses in the current situation. In a fit of a quarrel with a loved one, for example, people can come very close to the threshold, but then cool down and remember that the partner has a lot of virtues, or find some justification for what happened, or suddenly get scared of loneliness, etc. And then the pluses will again become a priority, and the person again moves away from the threshold. This can go on for months or even years.

When it comes to the relationship of spouses, slowly but surely moving towards parting, one day they have a phase of expectations. What used to be appreciated is no longer noticed. It is starting to be taken for granted. There are more complaints than compliments and thanks. People begin to notice, rather, what is not, rather than what is. Once it was significant that the husband comes home on time. Now it only matters when he's late. The absence of the desired behavior begins to equate to cooling, indifference and dislike. Perception filters change, and examples for disappointment appear and accumulate in both partners.

Mechanisms for the accumulation of negative examples here can be very different. Someone literally "weighs" the pros and cons, someone hears inside himself the voice of indignation of ever-increasing volume.

Often people compare pictures within themselves - ideas of what they would like or expect to receive, with what is happening in reality. These pictures can also be generated in various ways. Sometimes this is your presentation of what your partner promised you at the beginning of this relationship. Sometimes, something that was promised by someone else, but since then you have taken it for granted. It happens that this is a film made up of pieces of your favorite melodramas or even children's fairy tales.

For some people, on the contrary, the pictures depict ideas of what should not be in their relationship . So if they see the coincidence of their terrible pictures with the events actually taking place in their lives, this brings them closer to the threshold. There are also those who recall pictures of their still unfulfilled dreams and understand that the current relationship will not allow him to fulfill these dreams.

And then one day you can accumulate within yourself a sufficient number of convincing examples of non-compliance with what you want. One day you suddenly see all at once these pictures, and then your patience ends. In this case, it seems to an outside observer or your partner that you quarreled because of nonsense. He did not know that this was the last straw, and that you have been hoarding these examples for many years. Another way is when you come across one single, but VERY convincing illustration, which you are no longer able to erase from memory or somehow fit into your life. The third possibility of crossing the threshold of patience is to endure some critical amount of time for you, and then realize that you do not want to spend another minute on it. And it's not just about accumulating examples in the past . At a certain point, you begin to understand that this will be repeated and in the future , again and again. You see it in all colors and in the most unsightly details, and it forces you to make a "fatal" decision.

Do you always have alternative options at hand that suit you? - Not. Sometimes you are not ready to go nowhere and suddenly lose important resources for yourself.

In this case, you can try to “twist” the same “mechanisms” in your head. The volume of the crying voice inside can be muffled, outrageous pictures can be recolored, moved away, the focus of attention changes in them, and what seemed unreal, as it were, is outlined in a different frame and becomes quite acceptable. As a result, we conclude with itself a new agreement that until everything will remain as it is.

But here it is also very important not to go too far. For example, I'm working quite a lot on the issue of domestic violence now, and I can see very clearly these mood swings, this internal struggle to leave things as they are. To bend, to find excuses, to believe in new promises - just not to go into the "dark abyss" of an independently made decision. It seems to many people much easier to push their limits of patience than it is to dare to openly defend these limits.

A critical eye allows you to soberly assess the situation, see some pitfalls, regularly measure the "level of happiness in the blood." And in time to make decisions about whether our life flows in the right direction. On the other hand, the ability to push back the threshold of patience allows us to be flexible, step over petty grievances and forgive a partner for his tiny shortcomings.

It is important to remember that after making this decision, when the last match has burned out, an incredible sense of relief awaits you. Not only because you finally have much better prospects for the Future, but also because your Present ceases to be so painful. This endless internal masochism of despair and fear stops bringing you to white heat, you no longer worry about what decision you need to make.

In fact, the emotional intensity itself is a saving mechanism by which your psyche gives you a "magic pendel".

The power of negative emotions pushes you beyond the threshold of patience, no matter what horrors you intimidate yourself and keep from making a decision. And, by the way, the same mechanism makes us, at times, remember the offense for a long time - in order to remind ourselves that this is not the way with us, that we cannot tolerate and forgive this.

And then, beyond the threshold — yes, a new life begins. Even if you haven't made any major changes. Because now you are:

  1. know exactly where your borders are
  2. said it out loud
  3. finally, you can respect yourself.

And when you had some experience of passing the threshold of patience - and you were convinced that you coped with it and survived! - you can just allow yourself to want something, draw the attention of others to your desires and decide to change something in your life. At your own pace.

Impatient? Why? And how to develop patience?

In times of stress, patience breeds peace of mind, not anger.

What is patience? I prefer to look in the dictionary first: "patience: the ability to accept and endure delay, difficulty, or adversity without getting angry or upset." I don't know anyone whose life is free from these three factors. In fact, I cannot remember a single day in my own life without the presence of one of these feelings.

For many years, my reaction to them was "angry" or, in any case, "disappointment." Then I realized that this response only made an already stressful and unpleasant situation worse. So I began to consciously try to respond to "delay, difficulty or trouble" in a different way. Sometimes the best thing I could do was bear the presence of these factors. However, I continued these attempts, and with practice, it became easier for me to "recognize" them with an open heart, as an inevitable part of my life.

When I was able to do this—tolerate and sometimes even acknowledge delay, difficulty, or discomfort—I noticed two things about the psychology of patience. First, being patient is treating yourself with compassion. Compassion is a way to reach out to those who are suffering, including yourself. I certainly suffer when I'm impatient, because lack of patience is a stressful reaction to what's going on in my life. I can feel stress both in my mind and in my body. So developing patience is self-care, which is the foundation of self-compassion.

Secondly, I have noticed that patience improves self-control - peace of mind makes it easier to survive ups and downs, and not toss and turn like a boat caught in a storm. The correlation between patience, increased self-compassion, and self-control convinced me of the value of patience. I thought: “Hmm, less suffering and stress, plus a calm acceptance of life as it is ... sounds good.” If you want to learn how to learn patience, then I recommend that you practice as follows. (Note: I discuss this thought and emotion transformation approach in more detail in my books How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Managing Joy and Sorrow and How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Handbook.)

1. Be aware of the emergence of impatience

This may be difficult at first. When something goes wrong (for example, we are stuck in a traffic jam), we tend to think that the reason for our impatience is external - something that happens "out there". Naturally, the reason is in what is going on in our minds, namely our response to the circumstances we are facing. So start by watching for impatience to build up in your mind in response to something not going the way we would like it to.

You may already know some of your annoying factors: being made to wait too long; when you are standing in a long queue; when you are trying to deal with a computer problem; when you have to wait a long time for a doctor; having to listen to someone explain something very simple for an impossibly long time (the latter is a trait of mine that tests my family's patience!).

Note that impatience is shown when something goes wrong - especially when people or our environment do not meet our expectations, even in circumstances that we cannot control (for example, traffic jams or long queues). Our expectations often do not match reality. I can give four examples of such expectations, and all of them can provoke impatience.

First, we tend to expect that the environment will meet our expectations: no traffic jams, no lack of parking spaces near our destination; no long queues; no delays at the airport; no long wait for food in the restaurant.

Second, we tend to expect people to live up to our expectations. They should behave the way we think they should behave. “The woman in front of me in line should not be talking to the cashier.” "If he said he would call at exactly three o'clock, he should call at three sharp." Even if we're "right" (after all, it's polite to call at the promised time), people often don't live up to our expectations, that's a fact.

Third, our expectations are often unrealistic when it comes to developing new skills, whether it's a new craft, a new app, or fixing something yourself. We think we should be able to pick up new skills quickly, no matter how unfamiliar or difficult they are to us.

Fourth, our expectations are almost always unrealistic about what goes on in our minds. We think we should be able to control the thoughts and emotions that we have. However, unexpected thoughts and emotions arise all the time. Thinking and experiencing emotions is in the nature of our consciousness; in my experience, it's unstoppable. Without a doubt, impatience does not stop this process!

Think about these four categories of expectations and try to find the ones that are unrealistic in your life. This one action will help you recognize when you are reacting impatiently.

2. Explore how your mind and body respond to impatience

Allowing yourself to feel impatience is an important step towards acknowledging it. This is important because, in my experience and from a psychological point of view, it is impossible to start transforming a tense mental state until you admit that you are stuck in it. So work on getting to know what impatience feels like. Is your mind calm or agitated? Is your body relaxed or tense? Never before has impatience felt like something pleasant to my mind or body. Knowing that this is an unpleasant feeling helps me motivate myself and try to change how I react to “delay, difficulty or unpleasantness” - our three friends from the dictionary.

3. Start transforming impatience into patience

This takes practice. Practice full of patience. And since patience is an act of sympathy for oneself, I hope you will sympathize with your inability to be patient in some cases. In this regard, here are some strategies for transforming impatience into patience.

Let's start with those times when the environment or people don't match your expectations: for example, you're stuck in a traffic jam or you end up in line right behind a person chatting with a cashier. First, note that you are reacting to the situation with impatience. Second, pay attention to what you are experiencing in your mind and body. Then ask yourself, "Is there anything I can do to make a difference without making things worse for myself and others?" If your answer is "no" (in most cases it will be), then see if you can find something, as I would call it, "good" in this situation. Namely, start focusing on something pleasant or interesting while you wait.

This is self-awareness training, meaning you make a conscious choice—supported by effort—to pay attention to what is going on in your field of consciousness. When I feel impatience kicking in, I can almost always find something in the present moment that piques my curiosity or interest. This allows me to respond to what is happening, not with "anger" or "sorrow", but with patience.

Being in a traffic jam, you can consider different brands, models and ages of cars on the road; you can strike up a conversation with another person in the car; you can find a radio station. If I find myself in a long line, I can stare in amazement at the ridiculous headlines in the tabloids posted on the counters next to the cashier; you can look at the people standing around me - how they all look different and each of them has their own life story, about which I know nothing; you can even overhear the chatter that delays me!

In general, I try to cultivate friendliness towards talkers, to enjoy the way they enjoy each other's company. After all, what is another one or two minutes in line? If, like me, you find it difficult to stand for a long time, you can look for something to lean on or stand in a stable position to be more balanced. Sometimes I carry a cane with me.

I mean, yes, the initial choice is to have a "no traffic on the freeway" rule and a "no chatter at the checkout" directive, but most of the time we don't have that choice. When this happens, I know what I would prefer if one alternative is to be upset and angry, and the other is to try to make the experience enjoyable, or at least bearable.

There are still unrealistic expectations in the formation of new skills. This expectation is partly shaped by our cultural attitude to hurry, hurry, hurry, whatever we do. However, if we acted more slowly and patiently, not only would we enjoy more, but we would also likely develop this skill better.

Finally, about unrealistic expectations in controlling our consciousness. Instead of feeling impatient (“angry” or “upset”) about what is going on in our minds, we could deal with unwanted thoughts and emotions with more ease, sometimes even humorous in relation to the unbridled mind. In my new book, How to Wake Up, I quote from one of the first Buddhist books I read, Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. Here is what he said about consciousness:

“[One day] you will come face to face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are absolutely crazy. Your mind is a screeching, gibbering madhouse on wheels, rolling erratically down the hill, completely out of control and helpless.

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