Stressor Spotlight: Impatience

writing "i want it now" on a card

Due to modern-day technology and other conveniences, people are more impatient than ever.


We live in a world of instant gratification, where it’s easy to obtain information, stream movies, send messages, video chat, and more. Because of this, many of us expect that everything should get done instantly, and waiting seems irritating and intolerable.


From driving in traffic to waiting in line, you can see an increase of impatient behavior and the consequences that follow—especially for the younger generations who have grown up with technology that provides instant gratification.


What is impatience?

Impatience is a behavior where a person is expecting immediate results from someone or something. Another way of recognizing this behavior is when someone is being restless or is intolerant when having to wait. The most common emotions tied with impatience are stress, irritability, anger, and frustration.


What causes impatience?

The cause of impatience really comes down to the conditions of the situation that trigger an impatient behavioral response. Usually, the conditions are when something interferes with or prolongs a goal someone wishes to complete, whether it’s watching a favorite TV show or completing a project for work.1


Whatever goal it may be, when it has been interrupted or blocked, the person often becomes more frustrated and put out. At this point, we may start looking for shortcuts or switching our goal altogether.


The cost of impatience

Research suggests that impatient behavior is a display of lack of self-control and a lack of good judgment.2 Consequently, lacking these qualities can cost you more than you think.


Here are 5 costs of impatience.


1 – Lack of perseverance

frustrated young woman looking at cell phone

Being impatient can strike a fire of motivation within us to accomplish our goals. However, it can easily smother it out. For an impatient person, as soon as they realize that what they want to accomplish will take longer than expected or be harder to achieve, they quit.


We see this every year with New Year’s resolutions. At the beginning of the year, gym attendance skyrockets and healthier, less processed foods are purchased. But as time goes on, these resolutions are quickly dropped as motivation dwindles due to the lack of immediate results.


To the impatient person, the results aren’t coming fast enough. The pay off doesn’t come immediately; therefore, it’s a lost cause. Too many give up too soon all thanks to their impatience and need to obtain what they want instantly.


2. Procrastination

Impatience not only can cause you to give up on a task or goal, but also can prevent you from even getting started. Studies show that impatience can cause procrastination.3


The time of how long the task or goal will take to complete can deter an impatient person from working on what needs to get done. This can greatly affect the productivity of an impatient person, especially at work.


3. Poor health

The anger and anxiety that arises from impatience not only can negatively affect an impatient person externally, but internally as well.


Research that focused on A-type personalities and impatience found that chronic anger and frustration from being impatient causes so much constant stress that it can lead to clotted arteries and heart attacks.4


Moreover, living in a constant state of anger and anxiety due to impatience can be harmful to your mental and emotional well-being.


In addition, the type of eating habits found in impatient people has been shown to increase the chances of obesity.5 With the instant gratification of fast food restaurants and food delivery apps, more and more people are growing impatient with the amount of time and work needed to cook at home. Instead, they prefer something quick, tasty, and easy to access with little effort.


4. Poor decision-making

With the influence of instant gratification and impatient behavior, many people make hasty decisions such as impulse buys, hazardous driving, overlooking rules, or jumping into a relationship too quickly.


This is because when impatience becomes out of control, it can skew the way a person perceives time, risks, and rewards. For instance, one study explains how time seems to move slower when something of great reward will be gained in the future.6


This tendency triggers impatient behavior, causing the person to opt out of the more valuable long-term rewards to be able to get the less valuable, but instant reward. These results are also supported in a famous study called “the marshmallow test.”7


This explains how some impatient people make poor financial decisions because they buy things on impulse that they should have waited to buy when they were more financially ready. In the moment, the instant reward seemed worth the risk of financial instability more than waiting longer for the greater reward of purchasing what they want and being financially able.


Another poor decision made from impatience is found on the road. A study showed the connection between impatience and risky driving.8


We’ve all witnessed the poor decisions a driver will make in attempt to arrive at their destination in the time they had expected, especially when other drivers or circumstances get in their way. An impatient driver will swerve in and out of lanes, find shortcuts that may not be legal, and perhaps give into road rage. All of which, can have serious consequences.


5. Relationship problems

Whether with a friend, family member, or significant other, impatience can negatively affect the relationship. An impatient person can be more controlling, frequently irritated, and critical towards their loved ones, especially when waiting for them to complete a task.


In addition, impatience causes someone to frequently be in a hurry, which can be problematic when others wish to spend quality time with them.


Can impatience be beneficial?

businessman checking his watch

Even though there are many negative consequences of being impatient, this is not to say that being impatient is always bad. It’s the chronic and uncontrolled behavior of being impatient that can be damaging. However, impatience can actually be used as a driving force to accomplish goals and take action instead of waiting for things to just happen.


Moreover, impatience is a way to teach us to practice more patience and self-control. We often make mistakes when being impatient. Realizing these mistakes gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we can do better the next time our impatience is triggered. It can teach us when it’s best to be impatient in situations and when it’s not.9


Are you too impatient?

As Dr. Jim Stone stated, “If you’re too impatient, you can make rash decisions with terrible consequences. If you’re too patient, you can waste vast stretches of your life pursuing the wrong goals.”1 So the key is not to eliminate or ignore impatience altogether, but rather to find a healthy balance.


Regardless of whether we are aware of our impatience or not, taking a test can be helpful in understanding our thought patterns and how to better balance out this emotion. This test from Psychologies can be a helpful starting point, as it explains what your impatience is driven by as well as the upside, downside, and solution for the type of impatience you experience.


Managing impatience

breathe written on mat next to leaves

Overall, the important thing is to not let impatience affect us in a negative way. Here are a few practices that will help you manage your impatience:

  • Recognize when you’re being impatient
  • Find out your triggers
  • Practice deep breathing in stressful/frustrating situations
  • Take a step back from the situation
  • Practice gratitude and staying present
  • Avoid obsessing over the goal you wish to achieve
  • Remember to also take time to spend with family and friends, focusing on maintaining or improving the relationship.


Practicing these management skills can help you create more balance and health in your life, which are some of the greatest rewards life has to offer no matter how long they may take to obtain.


Impatient stressor Virtual Item

A digital signature representing the state of being impatient is automatically scanned in a Balance biosurvey and can be scanned in various Select and Elite scans as well. In the reports, you’ll be able to see whether this item was in range or out of range, or out of balance, and the degree to which it was out of range represented by a number. A health professional may then use this data in their process to gain insights into the impatience you may be experiencing.


Impatient balancer Virtual Items

If the impatient Virtual Item is out of range, a typical ZYTO scan will also show you which balancing Virtual Item brought this item back into range. A balancing Virtual Item may be an essential oil, supplement, food, or lifestyle option depending on what was scanned and how the body responded.


Along with a ZYTO bioscan, the EVOX can also help you systematically work through the impatience you are feeling. By simply talking about your impatience, the EVOX is able to map your voice and provide energetic feedback to help you deal with your impatience more effectively.




About Calyn Waterlyn
Calyn Waterlyn became a teacher after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. In addition to teaching, she has also written articles on various topics including health and wellness. Calyn is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and sharing her knowledge with others.





1.. Stone, Jim. “Understanding Impatience.” Psychology Today.

2. Samuel, Alexandra. “What’s So Bad About Instant Gratification.” ITHAKA.

3. Reuben, Ernesto, P. Sapienza, & L. Zingales. “Procrastination and Impatience.” Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 58 (2015): 63-76.

4. Thrasybule, Linda. “Why Impatience May Hurt Your Heart.” Future US, Inc..

5. Weeks, Linton. “Impatient Nation: I Can’t Wait For You To Read This.” Npr.

6. Laube, C., and W. van den Bos. “It’s About Time: How Integral Affect Increases Impatience.”  Emotion 20, no. 3 (2018): 10.

7. Suttie, Jill. “Kids Do Better on the Marshmallow Test When They Cooperate.” The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California Berkeley.

8. Kenneth, B.H, S.B. Daughters, & B. Ali. “Hurried driving: Relationship to distress tolerance, driver anger, aggressive and risky driving in college students” Accident Analysis & Prevention 51 (2013): 51-55.

9. Lipkin, N. “How Impatience Makes You More Successful.” ThinkGrowth.


The information provided in this article is intended to improve, not replace, the direct relationship between the client (or site visitor) and healthcare professionals.

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