What's up, Stonedvet Army?
This week I decided that I am going to work on patience.
The dictionary defines patience as, “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”
Patience is a skill that almost everyone could improve.
The good news is, we can make improvements to become a more patient.
Benefits Of Practicing Patience
We've all heard that patience is a virtue, but what does that mean?
There are many benefits of being a more patient person.
- You become perceived as a more relaxed person
- You can focus on goals
- You make more rational decisions
- You become less prone to angry outbursts
- You more easily learn new things
- You gain stronger mental health
This often-overlooked skill offers multiple benefits, and best of all, it's not something you have to be born with.
Anyone can become more patient; all it takes are a few intelligent techniques like:
- Practice Being Patient
It might sound easy, but practicing patience truly is one of the best ways to improve your patience. I mean, how do you improve your skills in playing the guitar? Or, how do you improve making the perfect pancakes? How do you improve on anything?
The only way is practice, practice, practice.
Don't worry, because everyday life will provide you with plenty of opportunities to practice your patience.
But, if you're looking to go out of your way to practice patience, here are a few things you might try:
- Read something complex, such as War and Peace
- Complete a jigsaw puzzle, or a book of Sudoku
- Cook meals from scratch
- Take the bus or train to work
All of these require you to practice patience.
They force you to wait and push you to remove expectations, keys to becoming more patient.
2. Remember It's Only Discomfort
Living is the longest thing any of us will do, however sometimes, minutes can feel like they stretch for an eternity.
When you are in situations like being stuck in a meeting, it can feel extremely uncomfortable.
However, try to remember you are simply experiencing discomfort. If the situations are not impossible or life-threatening, they are tolerable even though they may not be enjoyable.
Learning to recognize and accept uncomfortable situations may make it easier to cope.Distract Yourself
Many situations that demand patience requires you to wait, such as a long plane ride or a lengthy line at a restaurant.
In these instances, there's nothing you can do to speed things up in these scenarios, but you can fill that time more productively; so distract yourself. There are always ways to fill the time without getting upset over the situation and feeling angry.
3. Know Your Triggers
The lightbulb in your bathroom blowing one morning; probably not going to be a massive inconvenience in your day.
However, if it blows for the fourth time in a week, you'd have to be without pulse not to lose your patience.
Most of us have triggers.
Those triggers set off feelings of impatience, and they often come from recurring events.
These events could be anything from noisy neighbors every night to kids not cleaning up their toys.
Recognizing triggers can help you manage impatient responses. You can find ways to alleviate or avoid triggers or learn to accept that they will continue to happen and that you being impatient won't help.
4. Exercise Empathy
In many instances, the reason for impatience is another person, and in most cases, a little empathy can go a long way.
Take a moment to be empathetic instead of impatient.
Even if people are making you crazy, think of them as someone you're close to, your loved ones.
5. Retrain People Who Test Your Patience
In some instances, impatience will stem from someone else's incompetence, mistakes, or failure to follow the procedure.
In these cases, you could solve the problem by spending some time retraining or teaching those involved.
For example, if you are impatient because your assistant keeps sending emails with typos, you can sit down with them and introduce them to Grammarly to improve the situation.
Sure it will take a time investment now, but it should remove the cause behind your impatience in the future.
6. Take A Break
Give yourself a time out - literally.
Go outside for 10 minutes.
Take a quick walk around the block, walk away from the cause of your impatience.
7. Accept What Cannot Be Changed.
Many situations in life require patience, and usually, there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Maybe you're waiting to hear back from the bank, or you're waiting to recover from an injury. These things take time, and stressing out doesn't help the situation.
Overanalyzing and overthinking challenges will only stress you out more. Accepting that you can't change the situation will free your mind to wander into more positive places.
Consider employing some sort of mantra in these situations, "This is out of my control, I'm doing my best not to stress out."
Sometimes, simply saying things out loud can help you out effectively internalize them.
8. Focus On The Big Picture
Will the cause of your current impatience matter in five years?
Fuck, will it even matter in five hours?
Often, the reason behind feeling impatient is not the end of the world. Simply by reminding yourself that it doesn't interfere with the bigger picture, you may be able to let it go more quickly.
Remember to focus on the bigger picture.
9. Find Healthy Ways To Alleviate Impatience
Finding a more healthy outlet for negative emotions is valuable for anyone.
Some people find an outlet through various forms of exercise, such as running, yoga, or weight lifting. Some turn to creative outlets such as scrapbooking, writing, cooking, or gardening.
Finding outlets for frustrations, and turn to them whenever you're feeling overwhelmed can be a game changer.
10. Model Others Who Are Successful
How do others deal with similar difficult situations?
You're not suffering through stressful situations by yourself most of the time.
By surrounding yourself with others, you have two options for dealing with it.
First, you can learn from other people.
Notice how they deal with situations and emulate their calm responses.
Second, be the one leading by example.
Even if you're ready to scream, an audience can help you rein in your irritation and put on a stoic face.
11. Be Impatient - Sometimes
Some events in life are so demanding, frustrating, and disappointing to take a deep breath and move on. In rare moments like these, it's ok to allow yourself to be impatient.
Just like being on a diet, an occasional indulgence can be vital in allowing these urges out of your system.
As long as you aren't hurting anyone, venting frustration to a friend, punching a pillow, or going to 'let it out' can help you overcome impatience faster, even if you are giving into it somewhat.
12. Focus On Small Victories
Specific challenges take longer, and it can feel like you're making zero progression despite your efforts.
There are likely still small, maybe even microscopic, successes along the way in these cases.
Focus on the small wins to remind yourself that progress is being made, even if it is at a snail's pace.
13. Ask For Help
Finally, if it's not something that you can improve yourself on, you may be able to ask for help from others. Don't be afraid to ask!
When It's Not Helpful To Be Patient
It is important to keep in the back of your mind that you don't always have to be patient.
In some instances, putting on a stoic face is more damaging than confronting an issue head-on.
In these instances, remember your self-worth, and don't put patience before your well-being.
Teaching yourself how to be more patient will pay off in well-being, work, and relationships.