Anxiety and Impatience: How to Calm Down

October 29, 2018 Martha Lueck

Anxiety and impatience: the two are common problems that feed on one another. Learn how to calm down when your anxiety causes impatience at HealthyPlace.

Anxiety and impatience are common problems. I have personally struggled with impatience due to anxiety many times. Read this article for tips about how to calm down when you start to feel impatient.

How Is Anxiety Linked to Impatience?

Anxiety and impatience are linked because being anxious makes it hard to wait for something to happen ("Anxiety Disorder Symptoms, Anxiety Disorder Signs"). In school, you might worry about when you will find out your final grades. During job searches, you might not be able to stop thinking about when you will get a callback; perhaps you dread a rejection email. When you wait for your Uber driver to pick you up, you might keep checking how far away he or she is; you might start to get annoyed and consider canceling your ride. All of this impatience is not only caused by anxiety, but it also creates more anxiety.

Impatience During Anxiety Is Crippling

Impatience by itself is normal. We all want something to happen right away. But when impatience starts to affect our actions, it can take over our lives. Here are some things you might do when severe anxiety triggers impatience:

  • Avoid important tasks because you are worried about a crush asking you out
  • Yell at someone for not doing something in a timely manner
  • Stay up all night waiting to find out a test result

These actions can have dire consequences. They can lead to unemployment, poor grades, breakups, etc. The good news is that you can avoid the effects of impatience by thinking about the issue rationally.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Impatient

1. Why am I impatient?

By asking yourself why you are impatient, you might realize that what you are waiting for is not life-or-death. You can begin to think rationally about your desires and what you can do in the process of waiting.

2. How did I get through being impatient in the past?

By remembering a time when you felt impatient because of anxiety in the past, you can remember how you coped with it. Perhaps you developed the skill of meditation. Maybe you found solace by talking to loved ones. Whatever got you through impatience once can help you get through it again. This time, finding peace of mind will be easier.

3. What did I learn after surviving impatience?

Any difficulty that we experience can teach us something. Getting through impatience might teach you the value in delayed gratification. Perhaps you will learn that not everything is as bad as it seems. Thinking about what you learned might inspire you to look at waiting as a chance to learn new lessons.

If you are currently struggling with crippling impatience, I hope your answers to some of these questions will help you get through it. Please remember that impatience and anxiety do not have to take over your life.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2018, October 29). Anxiety and Impatience: How to Calm Down, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Martha Lueck

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February, 26 2020 at 4:11 pm

I truly agree that impatience is a horrible thing and makes you take fast decisions that could really hurt your present situation and not to mention- your entire life. You need to stay calm under any circumstance and try to be rational and not to leave yourself to anger and anxiety of your inability to resolve a certain problem or to have something that you cannot at that moment. I was really thinking that I am a very calm and laid back person, because deep inside I know I am but today I wander why I feel the impatience I do feel with performing curtain tasks. I need to find the answers and resolve the problem because I know I am a patient person.

Lizanne Corbit
October, 29 2018 at 1:29 pm

This is such an important connection to understand -- "All of this impatience is not only caused by anxiety, but it also creates more anxiety." This is absolutely a perpetuating cycle, and it can be so hard to break free from, but not impossible! I love your method of asking yourself questions. Also so helpful and important (even if difficult) to recognize when our anxiety/impatience is impacting our behavior and actions in a negative way.

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