While patience is a virtue, it can be difficult to practice it when things don’t go our way. Because let’s face it, with our fast-growing technology, we want things quickly. From instant messaging to ordering practically anything online, we love immediate gratification. Yes, all of these advances have their benefits, but they also make us less patient. If you find yourself more anxious and worried when things don’t happen when you expect, it might be time to start learning how to be a more patient person. After all, it’s a skill you can develop and will lead to positive outcomes for your mental health, relationships, and goals.
Benefits of Building Patience
Like Aristole says, “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet”. Indeed, patience is worth the wait and provides several benefits;
- Wisdom. When you learn some things need time to unfold, you receive greater self-acceptance and develop a stronger relationship with the present moment.
- Better relationships. Patience is a key part of emotional intelligence. When you’re patient, you’re less likely to lose your temper, which means healthier relationships both at home and at work.
- Less stress and better health. Impatience can cause higher cortisol levels and can lead to various problems like heart disease, digestive issues, and headaches, to name a few.
How to Be a More Patient Person
1. Focus on the present moment
Meditation may be difficult to learn at first, but it’s a skill you can practice. Through daily meditation, whether you can focus for 10 or 20 minutes, you will achieve a clearer and calmer state.
2. Build your self-confidence
The more confident you are of yourself, the less you’ll worry about failing. Having increased certainty in your skills and capabilities will help you feel more in control of the outcome. As a result, you’ll stress less and feel better when you don’t achieve your goal immediately.
3. Set boundaries
Depending on the situation, your impatient feelings might be understandable. For example, if an employee arrives 30 minutes late to your meeting without an explanation or apology, it’s best to set boundaries instead of trying to be more patient. When you’re level-headed, explain how their behavior affected you. Also, apply this tip to other areas in your life. Boundaries provide increased security, more fulfilling relationships and help you value your self-worth.
4. Shift your mindset
Waiting is not easy at all. It makes us face things about ourselves we try to ignore and avoid. But if you reassess the situation and try to think about the consequences of waiting, you’ll be in a better position to problem solve. Here’s an example;
- Anxiety – “I’m waiting too long to hear back about my promotion. I’m worried I won’t receive it”.
- Clarity – “I’ll use this time to strengthen my negotiation skills and get a higher salary”.
Waiting can help us prioritize our needs and gain perspective if we let it.
5. Break down your goal
Instead of stressing about time, break your goal down into smaller, more manageable steps. Each tiny portion you complete will help you focus on one day at a time rather than obsessing about a week from now. What’s more, maintaining your attention on this game plan will help you arrive at your destination quicker and with less stress.
6. Take a breather
Like meditation, breathing offers the same benefits. When you’ve hit the peak of your impatience, count to ten and take a few slow deep breaths to bring you back to your baseline. But if breathing isn’t your jam, take a mindful walk and allow yourself to connect to the world around you.
7. Reframe your dialogue
Obsessing over “the why’s” of life are mind traps that keep you from enjoying the present moment. For example, “Why is this happening to me?”, “Why won’t this end?”, and “Why can’t I just get what I want?”. Instead of punishing yourself, reframe your inner conversation with how. “How can I move forward?”, and “How can I improve?” will help you embrace time and use your energy wisely.
8. Distract yourself
If there is nothing left to do except wait, distract yourself with another activity. To decrease the power of your mind from making you stress or worry, choose something that will fulfill you. Whether it’s a goal off your bucket list, working towards expanding your business, or simply hanging out with a friend, distraction is key.
While waiting can definitely create frustration, it can also bring enjoyment and fun. Use your imagination and envision what it would be like to accomplish your goal. In fact, you can also use this technique to bring yourself to your “happy place” in moments of stress. Simply, imagine a place or situation that brings you pure bliss and immerse yourself in your daydream.
10. Get comfortable with waiting
You may not believe it, but waiting for things can actually increase your happiness. How? It makes you comfortable with discomfort. By sticking it through to the end, you arrive stronger, more capable, and confident. Start small like letting someone cut ahead of you in line. Not only is it a kind gesture to start with but you’ll also learn how to be a more patient person.
11. What is the cause?
What makes you impatient? We often have a constant buzzing in our minds with several tasks going on at once. While we try to multi-task to save time and get more done, we often become frustrated with delayed progress. To combat this, look within, and ask yourself what makes you impatient. Learning the source of your frustration will help you slow down and remove anything not serving your wellbeing.
12. Ask for help
When we feel overwhelmed, we often think we can do everything ourselves. Instead of taking on more than you can handle, ask for help. Reach out to colleagues, friends, or family and delegate any tasks causing you to lose patience.
13. Release your stress
What can you remove that’s causing your stress? Start by investigating how you spend your time by looking at your schedule, habits, and relationships. Then, remove two to three things that aren’t important that would save more time. Saying no to things that don’t help you grow can make you more patient, relaxed, and grounded.
14. Practice is the best route
Remember, patience is a skill that takes time – see the connection? Identify what is causing your stress, set boundaries, prioritize calming strategies like meditation, and keep applying tips to build your patience. Over time, you’ll not only learn how to be a more patient person, but you will become one and may even help others.
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