I believe that one of the most important things everyone should learn nowadays is how to be more patient. Everything around us happens so fast because we live in a world where information can be sent across in a matter of seconds. Arnold Glasgow, an American humorist, once said that “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it open.” People say patience is a virtue and this virtue can be cultivated over time so you won’t have to deal with all those unpleasant consequences of being impatient, like the feeling of too much tension in your muscles, irritability, shallow breathing or even nervousness. I’ve learned that patience is in fact a skill and you need to work on it, so you’ll be able to increase your self-control by delaying gratification. Here are a few tips on how to be more patient I hope you will find useful:
1. Find out What Makes You Impatient
The first tip I can give you if you want to learn how to be more patient is to tell you to find out which things make you feel so impatient in the first place. Try to discover the root of your impatience and figure out why you are always in such a hurry. Are there some things or people who can trigger your impatience? Studies show that physical factors like hunger or dehydration can be responsible for losing your patience sometimes. Just find out what those triggers are, so you’ll be able to control them in the future or to simply avoid them if possible.
2. Ask for Advice
If you can’t figure out on your own what events, people or other factors trigger your impatience, then ask for advice. Talk to one of your friends or to a family member and ask them if they notice if certain things wind you up. The chances are they already know what makes you lose your calm, so don’t hesitate to ask them about it! Also, ask for their opinion and find out how they would react if they were in your shoes because they could offer you solutions that didn’t even cross your mind before.
3. Realize That Time is an Illusion
The best way to learn how to be more patient is by realizing that time is actually an illusion and that it’s in fact a construct we use to organize our schedule. Keep this in mind the next time you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all that stress you’re experiencing every time you’re in a hurry. Just ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen if you didn’t get there in time or if you don’t finish your tasks when you’re supposed to or what could happen if you are running just a few minutes behind your schedule. You’ll see that most times you are just overreacting and you are only hurting yourself by being so impatient.
4. It’s the Journey That Counts, Not the Destination
By always being in such a rush, you might miss out on those special moments everyone encounters, because you’re only focusing on the results rather than on the journey you’ll have to take in order to reach your goals and fulfill your dreams. Just remember, we learn from our mistakes, so don’t be afraid of failure, because it can actually be the best teacher you’ll ever have.
5. Keep a Journal
If you feel like you’ve lately lost all your patience and you can’t focus anymore on any of your tasks because you’re always feeling like you’re running late, just try keeping a journal and write down all your thoughts and feelings. You’ll see that once you put them on a little piece of paper, they won’t seem so scary anymore. You might even discover a thing or two about the causes of your impatience and you might even learn how to control it.
6. Just Relax
Impatience can cause a lot of anxiety, stress and in the long term it can even lead to depression. So, in order to avoid all that, you could just learn and then practice a few relaxation techniques that will help you release all that stress and negative energy you’ve accumulated. Try to always be positive, remind yourself that good things take time and that quality matters more than quantity. Don’t be so harsh on yourself and loosen up a bit!
7. Practice Patience
As I said, in my opinion patience is a skill. Just like any other skill, in order to perfect it, you must practice it as much as you can, so you turn it into an automatic behavior. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of occasions to test your patience and to control your reactions, like for example when you’re stuck in traffic or when you’re at the supermarket and there’s a very long line before you. The more you practice, the easier it will be to master this skill and to make it a part of your behavior.
Being patient is not always easy, especially when you are a perfectionist. Yet, it’s not impossible to change your attitude and become a more relaxed person if you are willing to put a little work into controlling your impatience. Are you an impatient person? What do you do to calm down? Do you know any other useful tips on how to be more patient that you are willing to share with us? Do tell!