It is often said that patience is a virtue. However, science tells us that more than a virtue it is a neurological competence that we all can (and should) develop. Let’s think about it, let’s become aware for a moment of what it would mean if we all managed to be more patient, better able to withstand setbacks and know how to wait for the future of things without nervousness or frustration.
The first thing we would achieve is to gain in psychological well-being. Because living in “I want it now and I want it now” mode is fuel for the anxious mind. We are that hurried society that practices the antithesis of patience. The vast majority of us are victims of haste, captives of lack of time and obsessed with the absolute need for control.
In the 1970s, Heinz ketchup was still sold in glass bottles. Something that the executives of this famous brand discovered is that consumers were frustrated with the use of this container. The glass forced them to have to turn the product over and wait for the sauce to fall. Impatience bothered them, and sales fell.
Given this, they were forced to create an innovative advertising campaign. They created the slogan “It’s slow good” to convince them that good and quality things are made to wait and require patience. That was a success.
Addicts to impatience are subscribed to constant frustration. However, nothing can be more enriching than training patience and understanding that sometimes waiting is worth it.
Having patience and serotonin: how are they related?
Although we would like to be patient every day and in every circumstance, the brain is not prepared for this competition, for this existential art. He is governed by two basic mechanisms: the first is to obtain immediate reinforcements. Seek pleasure, reward, well-being. We do not like, for example, waiting excessively when we are hungry or waiting an hour for that person we like to respond to the WhatsApp message.
There is also another fact. When we don’t get what we want, when our reality is dominated by uncertainty, the brain reacts with alarm and suffering. Because when things do not happen as we expect, we suffer, anxiety pricks and the abyss of worries appears. We don’t like spending time in life’s waiting room, and yet much of our existence follows this pattern.
Patience is a protective net that allows us to go through the complexity of everyday life without falling into frustration and discomfort. Now, science has discovered what mechanism it is that allows us to strengthen it. We analyze it.
Serotonin and its role in patience
Doctors Katsuhiko Miyazaki and Dr. Kayoko Miyazaki from the University of Okinawa (Japan) made an interesting discovery, one whose study was published in the journal Science Advances.
- We know that learning to suppress the urge for gratification is essential to regulating emotions, improving our behavior, and achieving better long-term benefits. Impatience is the source of anxiety and the root of much of psychological discomfort.
- Until now, we did not know what mechanisms are those that differentiate the most patient from the most impulsive.
- The study conducted at the Okinawa University of Science and Technology has found that serotonin is the neurotransmitter that modulates patience. This has been proven in animal models, specifically in mice.
- Serotonin is that multipurpose neurotransmitter in charge of regulating a large number of processes, from mood, sleep and wake cycles, appetite, etc. Now we know that it is also key to favor impulse control and allow us to be more patient.
- Currently, the mechanism of serotonin is being studied much more. The idea is to know how it affects different areas of the brain.
Patience does not come from the factory, it is trained
As Saint Augustine said, patience is the mother of wisdom. However, one aspect that this study also details is that this competence is the result of learning. Training it has a positive effect on our quality of life because it gives us emotional freedom, among other things.
Many people come for help because the world is not how they want it. Frustration is not the key to any door. Impatience makes us hit the same walls over and over again, desperate and angry.
Faced with this situation, it is common for us to ask ourselves how to do it … how to be more patient? How to get the brain to release more serotonin? The following phrases help to reflect on this.
- Patience is the ability to be calm in the face of adversity.
- To develop optimally and effectively we must begin to tolerate negative emotions. It is necessary to accept, understand and regulate our internal emotional universe.
- Reframe your way of thinking about everything that makes you lose patience.
To conclude, in a world defined by uncertainty and unforeseen changes, being patient is not a necessity it is almost an obligation. Let’s train the mind in this life tool to better go through difficult days.
Healthcnd – Health Science Psychology ❤️🎄