jitteriness and yes, irritability, the inability to take life in stride. According to one study, more than half of Americans consume more than the recommended amount of two hundred milligrams per day. (The average cup of coffee contains one hundred milligrams.) When I found myself drinking as much as a quart a day of iced tea, I switched to decaf. Yes, I had a blinding headache for a day, but it was worth the price for the increase in calmness and patience.
Tuning out when someone's talking? Think about a time in your life when you needed someone to be patient with you and they were. When you remember the healing power of patience in your life, you'll have more with others.
Would I rather be right or effective? That's a great question to hold in your mind when you're in a conflict with someone. Use it as often as you need to keep your goal—and your patience—front and center.
Find an inspirational quote (this book has plenty) that you can put on your computer, on your bathroom mirror, in your car. When you find patience slipping, read it for an immediate booster shot.
Ask for help. Lots of times we are impatient because we are overloaded. There's no prize at the end of your life for doing too much, particularly if you do it in a frazzled state.
Try laughing at yourself or your situation. Christopher Reeve wrote eloquently about how joking helped him. When asked how he was doing in the early stages of his paralysis, he replied, “Well, my throat's a little scratchy, I have an itch on my nose, and my fingernails need cutting. Oh—and I'm paralyzed.”
Testy at the office? Go online and search for soothing pictures and music, as well as relaxation exercises that you can do at your desk. Or give yourself a laugh at www.theonion.com.