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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Patience During Conflict Can Reduce Stress

Image of a cartoon person in front of two buttons. One says "conflict." The other says "resolution."

Can displaying patience during a conflict really reduce stress? An old Chinese proverb says, “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”

In other words, having patience can definitely reduce stress.

When you’re dealing with someone who is angry, ask the question, “Anything I can do?” or state the phrase, “I’ve had a similar experience and I can relate to your situation.” Doing so can help you respond in a difficult situation with patience and sensitivity, rather than with sarcasm, which can promote stress.

Even if you are not sure what is behind someone’s aggressive behavior, the few seconds it takes to pause can keep you from saying something you will regret. It will also prevent you from creating a stressful situation for yourself and the other person, who is already feeling some stress.

Your Words and Actions Can Reduce Stress

There have always been and always will be difficult people in the world. However, you do not need to allow other people to control you.

Impatience is often a byproduct of ignorance. If you are about to snap back at someone, remember that your anger may be prompted by your limited knowledge of the person or the person’s situation.

If you make someone pay for being unpleasant, you are going to be paid right back because of the stress you created for yourself.

Tip: Use an empathy phrase or question to prevent yourself from becoming involved in a no-win conflict. Or take a deep gasp of breath as a procedure to prevent yourself from becoming emotionally hijacked and saying or doing something you may regret. The more patient you can be during a heated interaction, the more you can reduce stress.

You can get many more empowering tips like this one in my award-winning book, Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. Buy one and get one free as a gift. You will not want to depart with your own copy. Be sure to check out the Without Stress Facebook Group where you can connect with other life-minded people on a journey to reduce stress.

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Dr. Marvin (Marv) Marshall
Phone: 714.220.1882
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