The Art of Patience

The Art of Patience

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“Be patient.” Loaded words, aren’t they?

There was a time in my life when nothing irritated me more than someone telling me to be patient for something I really wanted to see manifest in my life. 

A job interview.
A loving companion.
A goal on my vision board.

“Be patient” were words that felt easy to say but hard to do.

But over the years I’ve learned that those two words “be patient” are not only good advice for getting the things we want it’s good for our health too.

Being patient is having the capacity to endure waiting, delays, or irritation without getting frustrated or upset. It involves being able to restrain your emotions or impulses and act rationally in the face of challenging or stressful circumstances. 

Cultivating patience benefits us in numerous ways, such as: 

  • Lowers stress levels which improves our happiness and health. 
  • Leads to improved decision-making. 
  • Helps in improving understanding, empathy, and kindness. 
  • Helps us comprehend and value the growth process. 

How can we learn to be more patient? 

1. See the bigger picture 

Life is full of decisions both big and small. Consider the long-term effects of your decisions carefully. Nobody has a crystal ball that lets them see into the future, but considering the long-term view makes us pause which in turn develops more patience. Begin asking yourself questions like, “How will this turn out one to five years from now?” 

2. Practice delayed gratification 

Stop and consider your decisions before grabbing that dessert, going for another round, or buying that pair of red shoes that you feel like you just HAVE to have. Perhaps none of these are really necessary or useful to you at all. You even get to save some money or spare yourself from additional calories. 

3. Identify why you are impatient 

Determine what emotion is at the base of your response, which is making you feel stimulated and driving you to become heated. Are you upset that it takes so long for you to get home? Are you disappointed or do you feel rejected because a potential date didn’t work out? Do you worry that you won’t arrive at your meeting on time? Once identified, give yourself some time to breathe and deal with your heated emotions head on. Maybe even consider journaling about it. 

4. Accept the present moment 

Whether it’s getting caught in heavy traffic or having a job you don’t enjoy the truth is, the power you have lies in the present moment, not the future. Accepting the present moment doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make changes if you think you have to. It simply means embracing your experience as it is, even if it is unpleasant. Remember that what you resist, persists!

5. Practice empathy 

Put yourself in other people’s shoes. Remember, whatever’s causing your impatience usually isn’t about you. “My coworker isn’t intentionally missing his deadlines; he just has a lot on his plate.” For instance, there’s no magic fairy that made the train crowded this morning just so you can’t get a seat, and the cash register didn’t malfunction just to make your grocery shopping take longer. 

Remember the 4 Attributes of Empathy are:

  • Perspective taking.
  • Staying out of judgment.
  • Recognizing emotion in another person.
  • Communicating the understanding of another person’s emotions.

Be patient isn’t just a snappy thing to say. It’s good medicine for the spirit.

Your capacity to endure failures and fully appreciate life is improved by patience. The saying “good things come to those who wait” relates to the capability to persevere and make wiser choices. 

Need some accountability and help seeing the bigger picture?

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Be well, friend and have an awesome week!

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