09/08/2016 by Bev James
Many of us live in a fast paced digitally obsessed world where we may have become accustomed to instantaneously getting what we want or need at the touch of a button. This on-demand lifestyle can cause many of us to rush from one place to another whether it's to and from work, picking up the kids from school or fitting in exercise and social commitments; it can feel like most of us are continuously on the go.
Many of us live in a fast paced digitally obsessed world where we may have become accustomed to instantaneously getting what we want or need at the touch of a button. This on-demand lifestyle can cause many of us to rush from one place to another whether it’s to and from work, picking up the kids from school or fitting in exercise and social commitments; it can feel like most of us are continuously on the go.
A fast paced lifestyle can trick many of us into thinking that we ‘don’t have time’ which can sometimes impact our level of tolerance and patience. Speaking from experience, I’m not the most patient person in the world, this is something that I am constantly working on and with research now suggesting that ‘we’d be better off if we practised patience’ below are 6 ways to add an extra dose of patience to your day.
1. Understand Your Triggers
Often impatience can be triggered by something which may frustrate you. For example maybe you don’t like transport delays, the frustration can be doubled if you haven’t left enough time to account for delays which could eat into time that you may have planned to do something else, which can impact on your plans.
Taking the time to understand what your triggers are and noticing your inner dialogue can help you to work on counteracting it the next time you start to feel impatient. Maybe you can counteract your triggers by automatically putting on some positive music that changes your state or use the extra time that you’re caught in transport delays to listen to one of your favourite audiobooks or catch up with a friend on the phone.
The next time you find yourself feeling impatient ask yourself: What about this situation is triggering me? What can I do to counteract this in the future?
2. Make Peace with your situation
Making peace with the fact that not everything and everyone can be as quick as you want it to be, can help you to release a build-up of frustration and help you to feel more tolerant of yourself and with others. When we choose to accept that not everyone will think and behave in the same way or at the same speed as ourselves we’re able to look at others through the eyes of compassion. Choosing to understand and respect other people’s models of the world can help us to look for the intention behind another’s behaviour which can help us to become patient. The next time you find yourself feeling impatient, take a step back and see the situation through the lens of the other person, how could you be kinder in this situation? If the frustration is towards yourself, how could you be kinder to yourself?
3. Clear your mind
If we have lots of thoughts, tasks or worries jumping around in our minds it can often send our brains into overload which may cause us to lose our patience. With so many of us used to multi-tasking to maximise the use of our time it’s no surprise that we may feel off balance at times. Learning to become more aware of our thoughts by getting into a habit of journaling or writing down our ‘to-do list’ can help us to outsource our thoughts onto paper which can free up our headspace and slow down our pace of thoughts which can assist us in approaching situations in a more thoughtful manner.
4. Make yourself wait
Many of us may have become so accustomed to instant gratification that it can cause us to lose touch with feelings of excitement that can come along with waiting for things. Training ourselves to get into a habit of waiting for things not only helps us to exercise our patience, according to a recent study it can actually make us happier.
Train yourself to wait for things by starting off with smaller tasks such as recording your favourite TV show and leaving it until the weekend until you watch it, choosing to get in the longest que when you go to the supermarket or taking the ‘scenic route’ on your commute home. When you train yourself to get into a habit of waiting, you naturally transition into a more patient state of being.
5. Look at the bigger picture
The next time you find your stress levels increasing, allow yourself to move into a space of acceptance by taking a deep breath and reviewing how relative this situation is in the grand scheme of things.
Ask yourself: Will this matter to me…
Next week? Next year? In 10 years?
More often than not the answers to these questions are usually a ‘no’ and this realisation can help many of us to let go of stressing about things which may not be within our control so that we can focus our energy onto things which are.
6. Be grateful
According to a study published in the journal of Psychological science, gratitude can not only help us to feel happier and less stressed it can also help us to adopt more patience. Often when we focus on what we’re grateful for it can instantly re-direct our thoughts to all of the great things we have in our lives rather than focusing on feelings of ‘lack’. The next time you find yourself getting impatient consider mentally listing 5 things you feel grateful for and notice if this helps you to feel more patient.
Having a lack of patience can drain our energy and increase our stress levels. When we learn to master the virtue of patience, it can help us to feel calmer, less overwhelmed and more open to change which can benefit every area of our lives.