Why People Become More Impatient As Time Goes By

24 March, 2021
People become more impatient after going through difficult times. Read on to learn more!

Why do people become more impatient every day? Does the world seem to advance too slowly? Does it lead you to despair? Nothing happens as you plan, you rarely achieve your goals, and worse of all, you feel trapped in a vortex in which everything revolves around negativity and frustrated expectations.

Is this you? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are currently experiencing this psychological reality. They complain of jaw pain from holding back tension, feel an emptiness in their stomach, and they’re more nervous and brooding than usual. According to Kafka, impatience is the fruit of all human errors. Sometimes, however, this reality is triggered by situations that are as complex as they are particular.

People often consider themselves patient and relaxed. However, due to certain circumstances, this approach changes. This is when uneasiness and discomfort arise and endurance, hope, and even optimism vanish. Why does this happen? Is there an explanation for it?

“Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the 20th century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.”

-Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn-

A man thinking.

Reasons why people become more impatient every day

Defining impatience is quite easy: it characterizes a person who’s unable to wait for something without getting nervous. It also characterizes a person who lacks the ability to carry out tasks without losing their temper. Now, more or less everyone knows what it feels like and what happens when this dimension takes over. What isn’t so clear is why.

Why do people become impatient? Why is it that it’s harder to tolerate waiting, to accept other people’s habits, or to accept that things don’t always happen the way you’d like them to? It is true that some people are just born impatient and they’ve always manifested this behavior? Yes, but even the most patient person might catch themselves feeling that they lack this dimension.

Let’s analyze why.

Stress and an overactive brain amygdala

There are times when external demands far outweigh the psychological resources at your disposal. Work or the lack of it, family, the weight of uncertainties, and frustrated goals can plunge you into a state of high stress. The cerebral amygdala, that region linked to emotional processing, begins to be more hyperactive than normal under these circumstances.

This translates into a feeling of constant threat and filtering every event, circumstance, and stimulus from distrust. One could even say that it’s due to fear. All this tinges your mental focus with anguish and unrest, so there’s a compulsion for haste instead of a relaxed outlook.

Depression and lower serotonin levels

Why do you become more impatient every day? What makes you feel more irritable? Why do you find it difficult to finish things or even get on with them? Often, this psychological state may precede depression. In fact, a research paper published in the journal Current Biology reveals something interesting in this regard.

Dr. Zachary Mainen and his team at the Fundação Anna de Sommer Champalimaud e Dr. Carlos Montez Champalimaud in Lisbon, Portugal discovered a link between low activation of serotonin neurons and lack of patience. As you know, these nerve cells and their neurotransmitter are related to well-being, motivation, achievement, and happiness.

Thus, a low level of this neurochemical component is mainly linked to depressive disorders. Therefore, you must consult a professional if you’re progressively perceiving a lack of patience. Also, if you feel a kind of apathy that’s eating you up and you’re now experiencing sleep or eating disorders.

A seemingly sad woman.

Frustrated hopes

There’s an undeniable fact that most people have experienced firsthand: you need to be more patient than ever these days. This is because achieving a goal requires much more perseverance now than it did before. Achieving your goals takes more time than it did a few years ago. Also, emotional relationships and social life are more challenging, in general.

Thus, that outlook often permeates you with bitter frustration. This is because, when a person who carries behind more than one failure, who lost more than one lost goal but a vanished dream, will likely wonder, “Why do I have less patience every day?” The accumulation of frustrating experiences ends up damaging the muscle of calm, tolerance, and inner balance that endows you with moderation and reflection.

Reversing the process, that is, moving from impatience to patience, isn’t easy. However, it isn’t impossible. The good news is that you can train in the art of patience. Therefore, one thing you must understand is you can’t move time forward and make things happen faster. Nor is it possible to manipulate reality, events, or people to make the suit your vision.

Conclusion

Finally, assume that you aren’t in control of nearly anything and that the world is fallible, everyone in it including yourself.

For this reason, learning to be more patient involves nurturing hope, even though things sometimes aren’t the way you want or expect them to be. This doesn’t mean they won’t be in future circumstances.

Patience isn’t always a virtue. Sometimes, it’s just an approach and people are forced to exercise it, take care of it, and promote it.

  • Miyazaki, K., Miyazaki, K. W., & Doya, K. (2012). The role of serotonin in the regulation of patience and impulsivity. Molecular Neurobiology. Humana Press Inc. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-012-8232-6
  • Yuzan, Syahrial & Mat, Nik & Mulyani, Sri & Kesuma, Sambas & Risanty, Risanty & Syahputra, Fadlian. (2012). The Effects of Waiting Time, Passive and Active Impatience on Anger and Waiting Acceptability. American Journal of Economics. 2. 109-115. 10.5923/j.economics.20120001.25.