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Daniel Baugher | PACE UNIVERSITY

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"Live Science" featured Pace University's dean of graduate programs Daniel Baugher in "Why Impatience May Hurt Your Heart"

11/30/2018

"Live Science" featured Pace University's dean of graduate programs Daniel Baugher in "Why Impatience May Hurt Your Heart"

Now that the holiday season is here, nearly everyone's patience will be tested at one time or another. Long lines, crowded malls and unbearable travel delays are among the reasons why some people will lose their cool.

But those episodes of impatience can trigger physiological responses that may sabotage your health. "Being impatient could cause anxiety and hostility," said Daniel Baugher, dean of graduate programs at Pace University in New York City who has studied personality and social psychology. "And if you're constantly anxious, your sleep could be affected, too."

Baugher said living in the hyper-paced, technology-obsessed 21st century has left many people short on patience. "They seem to want everything yesterday," he said. "People expect things to be done more quickly."

But some individuals may simply be hardwired for impatience. "Everyone's tolerance threshold is different," he said. "We all feel impatient when certain things happen, but some more than others."

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"Mother Nature Network" featured Pace University's Professor Daniel Baugher in "How to be more patient"

11/30/2018

"Mother Nature Network" featured Pace University's Professor Daniel Baugher in "How to be more patient"

You may not consider yourself the patient type.

Maybe you came to that conclusion at an early age, when your exhausted parents relented to your demands — and let you tear into those Christmas presents early.

Maybe your first-grade teacher pointed this out when you were squirming out the door before the recess bell even sounded.

As a grown-up, how many times do you pound the "close door" button in the elevator? And are you skimming through this story right now?

You're not alone. Impatience has become the hallmark of a harried society — a culture that pounces from one quick payoff to the next.

Forget the fact that tailgating in traffic or making rash decisions is downright dangerous for a lot of people. There are plenty of links between impatient people and a host of health issues. A 2011 study, for example, suggests it may even be making us fat.

"If you are willing to forgo present satisfaction for future benefits, you are patient," John Komlos of the University of Munich told WebMD. "If, however, you want your satisfaction right now, then you are going to have that extra dessert and that extra ice cream and you are not going to be able to forgo the pleasures of today."

Then there's your poor heart, wearing down fast from always living on the edge. You don't need a mountain of research to connect the dots between impatience and hypertension, soaring blood pressure and even heart attacks. (But in case you do ...)

"Being impatient could cause anxiety and hostility," Daniel Baugher, a professor at Pace University in New York City, told LiveScience. "And if you're constantly anxious, your sleep could be affected, too."

And on top of all that, impatience makes us poorer. Forget the spendathon that is Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Christmas/Sale du Jour. Consider any investment you ever made that you cashed out on too early. Financial planning is all about the long game.

And just in case you still cling to the notion that impatient people get more done, consider a 2015 Columbia University study that found the opposite — impatient people are most likely to be chronic procrastinators.

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