Let’s just say that I am not a very patient person by nature and am still prone to bouts of impatience in certain areas of my own life. But those who know me well will attest to the fact that there has been a major improvement in the past few years and I have definitely cultivated the skill of being more patient, the result being a calmer and more relaxed approach to life and my interactions with the world. In a nutshell, learning how to become calm, mindful and more accepting has helped me to become a more patient and tolerant person and I am no longer the stressed and anxious person I once was.
It is strange to think of being patient as a skill that can be learned and developed but the truth is that most people have to learn how to be patient in order to succeed, have successful relationships, reach their goals and live in peace. This is a tall order in today’s technologically driven society where anything and everything is readily available and deliverable, and instant gratification is not only expected but demanded.
The word patience comes from the Latin word ‘pati’ which means to suffer, to endure or to bear. The dictionary defines patience as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like. Patience doesn’t mean passivity or resignation, rather it is actually a powerful tool. The truth is that life can be frustrating. Things don’t happen fast enough or people don’t do what they are supposed to do, resulting in disappointment and frustration. The choices available then become being impatient, forcing an outcome (which may not always be the correct one), being irritable, alienating the people around you or transforming frustration with patience (obviously the best choice).
I invite you to consider learning how to develop patience (and teaching your kids) as an invaluable skill which will assist in controlling emotions and self-discipline in challenging situations. Here are some tips that will get you started:
- Take one whole day to practice patience by taking the time to think about everything you do mindfully.
- Delay instant gratification by thinking about what you want to buy, drink or eat.
- Think before you speak-this can avoid hurting or offending others.
- Slow down, stop and take a few deep breaths before you act or move. This will help cultivate calmness.
- Develop realistic expectations.
- Things happen when the timing is right so don’t rush.
- Know your triggers so you can adjust your attitude and mindset accordingly.
- Plan ahead so you have enough time to allow for unforeseen circumstances.
- Practice acceptance
- Cultivate a belief mindset