These days, we’ve become fairly used to things happening instantly. If we need to find a website, we can search for it on our laptops, phones or tablets and the results are available in seconds. When we want to enjoy a meal, we can simply put the entree in the microwave and the food will be ready in minutes. If we want to locate the name of a business or restaurant, we can speak into our mobile devices to get the answers we need instantly. We’ve become fairly used to things happening right away.
However, there are still times in life where exercising patience is of the utmost importance. Here are 5 short steps to patience that you should keep in mind when you’re in a situation that requires you to wait a while before you can get what you need.
1. Calm Down
One of the first things people tend to do when things are going slowly is to become angry. You likely go over all the things you could be doing instead of being stuck in traffic or waiting on a colleague to get an important document to you. You probably mull over all the reasons that waiting on what you want or need is a total waste of time and you review your frustration in your head over and over. However, this natural reflex is very unhealthy.
Going over negative or angry thoughts in your mind will only make having patience more difficult. The stress that you’re causing your body will also raise the cortisol levels in your blood. If cortisol is increased too often in the body, this could lead to migraines and weight loss. Which leads to more frustration. So, when you feel yourself getting upset and losing patience, stop the negative thoughts in your head and make a conscious effort to calm down. Take a deep breath, turn on some relaxing music, or light an aromatherapy candle to get yourself in a more peaceful mood.
2. Give Up Control
Remind yourself–and accept the fact–that you can not control other people. Remember that you can’t control every situation in life. You can’t force your spouse to get ready faster so you can arrive a few minutes early to a company dinner. However, you can calmly ask your mate to get dressed and little quicker because arriving at the event on time is important to you. One of the main reasons we respond to situations in life with impatience is because we feel like we are losing control. This leads to anger and a feeling of helplessness. However, when you remember that you only have control over your own actions, you can simply do your part to make a circumstance better and let the rest go. This will help you to become more patient while lowering your anxiety.
3. Determine the Reasons for Your Impatience
Why are you so impatient? Are you a stickler for being on time? Are you trying to impress friends or supervisors? Do you have a hard time not getting your way? Do you get overwhelmed when you have to do too many things at once? When you are honest with yourself about the real reasons you’re impatient, you’ll know how to eliminate your impatience, because you’ll know the motives for calming yourself and just allowing things to happen as they will. It may be helpful for you to keep a journal of the factors that are causing your frustration. Once you write out what is angering you and causing impatience, you’ll be much less likely to lash out at others or to hold the stress inside.
4. Make Time to Relax Every Day
Impatience causes a lot of unrest in the body. If you’re in a profession that is very fast-paced or your days are usually busy with family and home tasks, you should take a few minutes each day to unwind. This will remind you that you’re doing the best you can with the hours you have in a day. Relaxation also prepares you to deal with the challenges that may come with the following day. Remember that you accomplish a lot in a day’s time, and some tasks will just have to wait. It’s a good idea to remind friends, family and colleagues of this fact as well. Gently let everyone know that you’re doing all you can to make everyone’s life easier or to make the office run smoothly. Be sure to use discretion when relaying this message to different groups of people so that you can get your point across correctly.
5. Get Organized
Remember to stay organized if you’re going to manage your impatience. Often, people get impatient when they haven’t properly planned for an event and have to get everything done at the last minute. Being proactive will reduce the chances that you’ll get impatient as you’re putting certain parts of your life in order. For instance, if you prepare your children’s lunches the night before, chances are you won’t yell and your kids to hurry up and get ready due the stress you feel from not being prepared. If you have a meeting to attend in another town and you map out your route a day or two beforehead, you can leave 15 or 20 minutes ahead of time in case there are any traffic holdups. The more you organize your life, the less likely you are to have a reason to be impatient, because you’ll be prepared for situations that may take up a little bit more of your time.
These are just some of the ways that you can start practicing patience every day. While it may be difficult for you to learn to let go of your need to control a situation at first, you’ll learn that there will be plenty of times in your life when you’ll have to exercise patience. The more willing you are to exercise these tactics, the easier it will be for you to remain levelheaded, even when you feel a little irritated or upset that things aren’t quite going as planned.