If Every Damn Thing Annoys You, Here’s How To Be More Patient

Author Article

From the slow, simmering frustration that builds with being on hold with a customer service representative for 30 minutes to the quick snap at your barista when she takes longer than usual to make your oat milk latte, chances are that everyone has wondered how to be more patient every now and then.
Kelly Davis, director of peer advocacy, supports, and services for Mental Health America explains that as technology advances and constant reachability can deprive us of time to rest and reset. “Even in the workplace, we’re expected to be available 24-hours a day. Now, your boss is in your pocket, your friends are in your pocket, and it’s really easy to have those expectations go both ways,” she says. “You feel the stress of other people being impatient with you, wanting you to immediately respond to things, and then you’re also expecting people to immediately respond to your needs, even if it’s not consciously.”

Besides making even the nicest people irritable, the increasing inability to tolerate delay or a wrench in the plan can have some negative effects on your health, too. “Impatience creates stress, and stress has tremendous health implications,” says Jordana Jacobs, a NYC-based licensed clinical psychologist. “When we’re under stress, it causes chronic low inflammation in the body.” And, of course, inflammation’s the culprit behind a laundry list of problems that span everything from acne to gut to digestion issues. No thanks.

So in this world that expects instant gratification all the time, how is one to cultivate patience? Experts divulge key advice, below.

1. Practice mindfulness and meditation

Both Davis and Jacobs advise bringing a mindfulness and meditation practice into your life—whether you notice your impatience or not. “A mindfulness or meditation practice can help you become more present, teach you how to control your breath, and really focus on just being aware of the things that are happening in your body and around you, and in turn that helps with being less reactive,” says Davis.

Even if you’re simply sitting on your floor for 10 minutes in silence every day, that could be enough. Davis says that once you implement this strategy, chances are you become more initially aware of the physical signs of impatience like faster breathing and tensed-up muscles, and can then slow your breath and bring yourself back to the moment (and peace!) more quickly.

2. Practice positive self-talk

You can be your own (patience) hype-woman. How to do that? Davids recommends to turn up your positive inner voice. “When you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed with impatience, try this: say ‘I have time, everything doesn’t have to happen at once, other people are doing their best, and I’m doing my best,’” she says, adding that you can even make it into a mantra, repeating it with your breath until it sticks.

When you’re practicing this positive self-talk, Davis adds that you should acknowledge your current emotions and remind yourself that what you’re feeling is only temporary. “You don’t have to come up with a solution just yet—calming yourself down should always be your first step,” she says.

3. Be patient with yourself

Of course, on the journey of becoming a Zen-like patience queen, it’s key to remember to be patient with yourself. It’s okay if you mess up sometimes (and, like, stomp past a slow-walker). “Practice self compassion when you do get impatient, because it’s a skill that you build over time,” says Davis. “We’re constantly bombarded with getting things right away and other people expecting us to do things right away, so it will take a bit of time to practice and build the muscle again.”

4. Remind yourself that life is short

If all else fails, remind yourself that life is short. Jacobs believes that understanding your limited time on earth can help you better understand your priorities, especially when it comes to the little things (like getting cut in line at the post office).

“Deep relationships, love, meaning, and purpose rise above all and we more easily disentangle from the minutiae of our daily lives,” she says, making it easier to be patient when things don’t go your way. This might not feel as helpful in the heat of the moment (who likes to be cut in line?) but having perspective can help you take a step back when you’re about to snap. Consider it the “carpe diem” approach to patience.



10 Things People Get Wrong About Living With Depression

Huffington Post Article
Nicole Pajer

There are many stereotypes surrounding depression, from being unable to get out of bed to crying at all hours of the day. But those living with the condition will tell you that the illness comes in many forms, and often looks far different than what we’ve learned over the years from movies and the media.

Because of these misconceptions, people who haven’t had a personal tryst with depression often don’t fully know the ins and outs of the disorder. For instance, depression is not something that you can “snap out of.” You can recover from it and manage it, yet it still can easily come back. And it’s entirely possible to be depressed but also experience joy in the company of friends.

Curious what other things people frequently get wrong about living with depression? Experts and people who live with the condition break them down below:

You can be depressed and not appear sad.


“It’s a misconception that depression is all about constant sadness. Yes, persistent sadness is a symptom, but it’s just one of a range of emotions, or lack thereof, that someone living with depression can feel,” said Helena Plater-Zyberk, co-founder of Supportiv, an anonymous peer support network for people with struggles like depression. She added that many would be surprised to know that people with depression are also to experience an array of emotions, including joy.

Mike Veny, an author and keynote speaker who often speaks about his own depression, agreed. “People get confused when they learn that someone who is confident and smiling all the time struggles with depression,” he said. He added that just because a person appears positive and upbeat, doesn’t mean that they aren’t struggling to hold it together inside.

You can’t flip a switch to flip to feel better.

“The biggest misconception about being depressed is that you can just ‘snap out of it,’” said Samantha Waranch, a publicist in Los Angeles who lives with the condition, noting that it’s frustrating when people imply that being depressed is “all in your head” and can be warded off by “thinking happy thoughts, being around people or hitting the gym.”

“While things like exercising can help, I think people who have never experienced depression don’t understand that it is an illness, a chemical imbalance that is beyond your control,” she added.

Depression isn’t merely triggered by stressful situations.


“People think depression is because of a trigger or that something bad had to have happened to be depressed,” said Katie Leikam, owner of True You Southeast, who has dealt with depression herself. “Yes, depression can come from things like grief, but sometimes you just wake up one morning depressed and you cannot point to a solid reason.”

Dr. Melissa Pereau, medical director and psychiatrist at the Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center, said that depression can be a highly genetic disease involving chemical neurotransmitters in the brain. Depressive episodes that last weeks or months can also often occur without any cause.

“Asking a person who is living with depression, ‘Why are you depressed?’ is sometimes just as frustrating to them as saying, ‘You should try to be more positive,’” Pereau said.

Isolation isn’t always best.

Dr. Don Mordecai, the national leader for mental health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente, noted that checking in on a loved one who is suffering can go a long way in showing that you care.

“You can say things like, ‘I’m here for you. What can I do to support you?’ or ‘Depression is a real health issue that can be treated. Have you talked to your doctor about this?’” he said, adding that in having these conversations, you may be surprised to learn how much the people that you care about appreciate the opportunity to share how they are really feeling.

It looks different for everyone.


“Depression looks different in people,” said Tameka Brewington, a psychotherapist and owner of Real Talk Counseling. “For instance, some people will want to sleep all the time, while others are not getting enough sleep. Some people will isolate and withdraw while others will engage in a hostile or aggressive manner.”

Since depression manifests itself in different ways, Brewington said it’s important to know that each and every person suffering from the mental illness will have different needs.

Medication takes time to work.

Medications can certainly help to ease the symptoms of depression, but they won’t instantly make everything better. It takes time. “Chronic diseases require chronic treatment,” said Dr. Michael Genovese, a clinical psychiatrist and chief medical officer of Acadia Healthcare.

Even when the medication does help, it’s important to continue on with your prescribed dosages until your doctor gives you the green light to back off. “I’ve seen many patients over the years that will start taking their prescribed antidepressants, and as a result of the medication, they will feel better. This can lead to patients abruptly stopping their medication, which is a mistake,” Genovese added.

He advised patients to work with their physicians on a long-term plan. “Evaluate your options after you have committed significant time to your treatment plan,” he said.

It’s easy to overlook.


In addition to sadness, depression can also manifest itself in physical ways. For instance, people with depression may suffer from sleep and appetite disturbance, low energy, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, poor memory or low libido.

“Often these symptoms are misattributed to other illnesses and people suffer from undiagnosed and therefore untreated depression for years,” said Zainab Delawalla, a licensed clinical psychologist in Atlanta.

Not being properly diagnosed can be frustrating and people who live with the condition may end up bouncing from doctor to doctor before finally getting the proper help they need.

Having depression doesn’t make you weak.

The idea that only “strong” people don’t have a mental health condition is one of the biggest misconceptions about mental illness, said Kelan Kline, who runs the lifestyle blog The Savvy Couple with his wife and lives with depression.

“I consider myself a very strong person ― super happy-go-lucky all the time,” he said, noting that “depression can hit anyone at any time, no matter how strong you are.”

L’Tomay Douglas, a life coach and founder of Brand Me Beautiful Inc., added that people are misinformed when they think that people living with depression are lazy.

“As a person diagnosed with clinical depression since 2003, I often had people saying things to me like, ‘Your problem is you need to get up off the couch and do something,’” Douglas said. “What they didn’t know was I was living, I was still breathing despite the darkness that tried to suffocate me and tell me to end it all.”

Medication is not the only treatment option.


Sydney Williams, who writes about her experiences of recovering from sexual assault on her website, Hiking My Feelings, said there’s more to managing depression than taking medication.

“Not everyone wants to take medications to manage their disease and some folks don’t have access to medications,” said Williams, who stressed the importance of exploring a variety of treatment options. This can include talk therapy, lifestyle changes (for Williams, that meant hiking) and more.

There is no time frame for depression.

“Depression is not a now/later or here/gone thing,” said Lynn R. Zakeri, a licensed clinical social worker based in Illinois. In fact, she added that “people often say that because they experienced it, they feel much more at risk of returning to that and even feel it is a faster route right back down to the bottom since it is now a familiar route.”

Leikam added that clinical depression lasts for at least two weeks at the time, but “you can go through periods where you are fine and then it can come back through circumstances or coming off of medication.”

Here’s What Household Clutter Does To Your Brain And Body

See Author Article Here
By Libby Sander

Many of us have started the year determined to be more organised: no more drawers full of plastic containers with missing lids, or lone socks.

The decluttering craze is led by Japanese tidying aficionado Marie Kondo, author of a New York Times bestseller and Netflix show Tidying Up.

Marie Kondo


My @netflix show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” premieres today! I hope the series sparks joy for you all and inspires a tidy start to the new year.

Add the show to your Netflix watch list here » https://www.netflix.com/Kids/title/80209379 

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Charity groups such as St Vincent de Paul are reporting a 38% increase in donations, year on year, as we get rid of the clothes, books and household items that don’t “spark joy” or have a place in our future.

And there is good reason to get on board, whether it’s via the KonMari method, or just having a good clear-out. Clutter can affect our anxiety levels, sleep, and ability to focus.

It can also make us less productive, triggering coping and avoidance strategiesthat make us more likely to snack on junk and watch TV shows (including ones about other people decluttering their lives).

My own research shows our physical environments significantly influence our cognition, emotions and subsequent behaviours, including our relationships with others.

Why clutter is bad for your brain

Bursting cupboards and piles of paper stacked around the house may seem harmless enough. But research shows disorganisation and clutter have a cumulative effect on our brains.

Image: The Journal of Neuroscience

Our brains like order, and constant visual reminders of disorganisation drain our cognitive resources, reducing our ability to focus.

The visual distraction of clutter increases cognitive overload and can reduce our working memory.

 Look familiar?

Look familiar?
Image: Phossil/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

In 2011, neuroscience researchers using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and other physiological measurements found clearing clutter from the home and work environment resulted in a better ability to focus and process information, as well as increased productivity.

And your physical and mental health

Clutter can make us feel stressed, anxious and depressed. Research from the United States in 2009, for instance, found the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were higher in mothers whose home environment was cluttered.

A chronically cluttered home environment can lead to a constant low-grade fight or flight response, taxing our resources designed for survival.

 We produce more stress hormones when we’re surrounded by clutter.

We produce more stress hormones when we’re surrounded by clutter.
Image: Jason Leung

This response can trigger physical and psychological changes that affect how we fight bugs and digest food, as well as leaving us at greater risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Clutter might also have implications for our relationships with those around us. A 2016 US study, for instance, found background clutter resulted in participants being less able to correctly interpret the emotional expressions on the faces of characters in a movie.

And surprisingly, it doesn’t go away when we finally get to bed. People who sleep in cluttered rooms are more likely to have sleep problems, including difficulty falling asleep and being disturbed during the night.

Could clutter really make us fat?

Multiple studies have found a link between clutter and poor eating choices.

Disorganised and messy environments led participants in one study to eat more snacks, eating twice as many cookies than participants in an organised kitchen environment.

Other research has shown that being in a messy room will make you twice as likely to eat a chocolate bar than an apple.

Finally, people with extremely cluttered homes are 77% more likely to be overweight.

Tidy homes have been found to be a predictor of physical health. Participants whose houses were cleaner were more active and had better physical health, according to another study.

Hoarding can cause physical pain

Buying more and more things we think we need, and then not getting rid of them, is an actual disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). According to DSM-V, those with hoarding disorder compulsively acquire possessions on an ongoing basis and experience anxiety and mental anguish when they are thrown away.

A Yale study using fMRI showed that for people who have hoarding tendencies, discarding items can cause actual pain in regions of the brain associated with physical pain. Areas of the brain were activated that are also responsible for the pain you feel when slamming a finger in a door or burning your hand on the stove.

People who suspect they have hoarding disorder can take heart: cognitive behavioural therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment.

Tidy house, happy life?

Participants in Marie Kondo’s Netflix show Tidying Up report that her decluttering method changes their lives for the better. Indeed, her first book was called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Research does indeed show cluttered home environments negatively influence the perception of our homes, and ultimately our satisfaction of life. The study authors note the strong effect is because we define “home” not just as a place to live, but as “the broader constellation of experiences, meanings, and situations that shape and are actively shaped by a person in the creation of his or her lifeworld.”

But it seems clutter isn’t always bad. One study showed messy desks can make us more creative. The findings suggested neat, ordered environments make us more likely to conform to expectations and play it safe, while messy ones move us to break with the norm and look at things in a new way.

5 Things to Know Before Attending Your First Psychiatry Appointment

See Healthline Article Here
By Vania Manipod

As a psychiatrist, I often hear from my patients during their initial visit about how long they’ve been putting off seeing a psychiatrist out of fear. They also talk about how nervous they were leading up to the appointment.

First, if you’ve taken that major step to set an appointment, I commend you because I know it’s not an easy thing to do. Second, if the thought of attending your first psychiatry appointment has you stressing, one way to help tackle this is knowing what to expect ahead of time.

This can be anything from coming prepared with your full medical and psychiatric history to being open to the fact that your first session may evoke certain emotions — and knowing that this is totally OK.

So, if you’ve made your first appointment with a psychiatrist, read below to find out what you can expect from your first visit, in addition to tips to help you prep and feel more at ease.

Come prepared with your medical history

You’ll be asked about your medical and psychiatric history — personal and family — so be prepared by bringing the following:

  • a complete list of medications, in addition to psychiatric medications
  • a list of any and all psychiatric medications you might have tried in the past, including how long you took them for
  • your medical concerns and any diagnoses
  • family history of psychiatric issues, if there are any

Also, if you’ve seen a psychiatrist in the past, it’s very helpful to bring a copy of those records, or have your records sent from the previous office to the new psychiatrist you’ll be seeing.

Be prepared for the psychiatrist to ask you questions

Once you’re in your session, you can expect that the psychiatrist will ask you the reason you’re coming in to see them. They might ask in a variety of different ways, including:

  • “So, what brings you in today?”
  • “Tell me what you’re here for.”
  • “How’re you doing?”
  • “How can I help you?”

Being asked an open-ended question might make you nervous, especially if you don’t know where to begin or how to start. Take heed in knowing that there’s truly no wrong way to answer and a good psychiatrist will guide you through the interview.

If, however, you want to come prepared, be sure to communicate what you’ve been experiencing and also, if you feel comfortable, share the goals you’d like to achieve from being in treatment.

It’s OK to experience different emotions

You may cry, feel awkward, or experience various kinds of emotions while discussing your concerns, but know that it’s completely normal and fine.

Being open and sharing your story takes a lot of strength and courage, which can feel emotionally exhausting, especially if you’ve suppressed your emotions for quite a long time. Any standard psychiatry office will have a box of tissues, so don’t hesitate to use them. After all, that’s what they’re there for.

Some of the questions asked about your history may bring up sensitive issues, such as history of trauma or abuse. If you don’t feel comfortable or ready to share, please know that it’s OK to let the psychiatrist know that it’s a sensitive topic and that you’re not ready to discuss the issue in further detail.

You’ll work towards creating a plan for the future

Since most psychiatrists generally provide medication management, options for treatment will be discussed at the end of your session. A treatment plan may consist of:

  • medication options
  • referrals for psychotherapy
  • level of care needed, for example, if more intensive care is needed to appropriately address your symptoms, options to find an appropriate treatment program will be discussed
  • any recommended labs or procedures such as baseline tests prior to starting medications or tests to rule out any possible medical conditions that may contribute to symptoms

If you have any questions about your diagnosis, treatment, or wish to share any concerns you have, be sure to communicate them at this point before the end of the session.

Your first psychiatrist might not be the one for you

Even though the psychiatrist leads the session, go in with the mentality that you’re meeting your psychiatrist to see if they’re the right fit for you as well. Keep in mind that the best predictor of successful treatment depends on the quality of the therapeutic relationship.

So, if the connection doesn’t evolve over time and you don’t feel your issues are being addressed, at that point you can search for another psychiatrist and get a second opinion.

What to do after your first session

  • Often after the first visit, things will pop up in your mind that you wished you had asked. Take note of these things and be sure to write them down so you won’t forget to mention them next visit.
  • If you left your first visit feeling badly, know that building the therapeutic relationship may take more than one visit. So, unless your appointment turned out horrible and unredeemable, see how things go during the next few visits.

The bottom line

Feeling anxious about seeing a psychiatrist is a common feeling, but don’t let those fears interfere with you getting the help and treatment that you deserve and need. Having a general understanding of what kinds of questions will be asked and topics that will be discussed can definitely alleviate some of your concerns and make you feel more comfortable at your first appointment.

And remember, sometimes the first psychiatrist you see may not necessarily turn out to be the best fit for you. After all, this is your care and treatment — you deserve a psychiatrist who you feel comfortable with, who’s willing to answer your questions, and who will collaborate with you to achieve your treatment goals.