Knowing the ways to practice patience, even when you don't feel like it, has numerous benefits. Wisdom, compassion and love all stem from a patient person. Practicing patience essentially means keeping your cool when situations arise that test you. For example, a chronically late person may test the patience of a punctual person. It's perfectly acceptable to feel irritation and annoyance, however your reaction is what counts. Our initial feelings cannot be changed, at least not easily, but our response to frustrating stimuli is completely in our control! Hopefully these simple ways to practice patience daily will help you become a more patient person!
1. Are Your Hormones Imbalanced?
As women, we have a delicate balance of hormones that are constantly fluctuating. You may even have a condition, such as PCOS, that has resulted from a hormone imbalance. During that time of the month, hormones also change and can cause a whirlwind of emotions. Check to see if this is the reason for your lack of patience. I know that when I am extremely irritable, a lot of the times I can pinpoint it to hormonal changes. Although there is not much you can do to change your fluctuating hormones, you can recognize it, which is one of the ways to practice patience. Healthy eating, proper sleep and exercise will help restore the natural balance of hormones in your body.
2. Take Deep Breaths
When your patience is tested, your heart rate increases, your breathing becomes shallow and frequent and your brain surges with anger. The same response happens in times of stress. Sometimes all it takes to calm your nerves and return you back to a centered mind, is to take deep breaths. The simple task of bringing in more oxygen to your lungs will slow down your heart rate and fuel your brain with rational thought. Try it! It really does work for practicing patience.
3. Talk Slower
It may sound silly but talking slower in times of irritation and stress will automatically make you calmer! I tend to talk frantically, and thus irrationally when I'm not practicing patience, which only makes the situation worse. This simple little trick may indeed help you to be more patient! Give it a try next time your nerves are tested.
4. Pray & Meditate for Strength
Seeking help outside ourselves for strength and increased patience is extremely beneficial. Whether you pray to a higher power or universal force, or perhaps you just seek inner peace through sitting in the quiet of mediation, find something that causes you to reach deeper. Lack of patience seeps into other areas of your life that can have negative affects on you. Your relationships suffer, your health is at risk if you are stressed frequently and you'll be less productive overall. Patience is a desired quality to have!
5. When You're Patient, You're Also Loving
This is just something to remember while practicing patience. It's a lot harder in the moment to exhibit patience, but keeping in mind that when you're patient with people, even yourself during times of frustration, you're also loving. Love puts others first, so when someone tests your patience, remember that showing them grace (which is not the same as excusing their behavior) is an extremely loving act that stems from patience. If you want to show people you love them, then be patient with them as well!
6. Locate & Manage Potential Stress-Triggers
There are many different reasons that cause someone to be impatient. Are there certain stress-triggers that cause you to be impatient? Maybe it's sitting in traffic forever, or waiting in line at the grocery store with a slow checker. It could also be related to how others use, and possibly abuse, their time with you. Whatever it may be, locate it and recognize in advance when something may arise that causes you to be impatient. If you know you're going to be stuck in traffic, leave earlier so that you won't be late and pop in a book on tape or your favorite music and just relax a little- it's a much better alternative than becoming frustrated over something you can't control!
7. Find a Relaxing Hobby
Lastly, find something that you enjoy, that makes you happy and that relaxes you! Make sure you prioritize time for yourself to enjoy what you love- when you're able to relax in a way that's also fulfilling, you'll meet life's challenges with greater ease.
Being patient isn't easy, nor does it come naturally- especially when you feel like you're being taken advantage of! Remember that when you act patiently you're not just benefiting other people but yourself as well. Give yourself time, no one wakes up one morning a perfectly patient person. It takes practice to be patient and it's important to just focus on little achievements throughout the day, without the expectations of perfection! What are some other ways that you practice patience? Share them with us!