Patience, the ability to wait, to control your impulses, and hold back your frustrations, is vital to developing good relationships with your family, friends, and even yourself. So many of us lack patience in our society today, leading us to make impulsive choices, become angry with loved ones, and even perform acts of violence. With so many demands placed on us these days from work, family and society, developing patience is more critical than ever.
Here are a few tips on how to develop patience to lead a calmer, more stress free life.
Live in the Moment: Do you often find yourself making grocery lists in your head while playing with the kids? Or settling down to watch a movie and mentally reviewing your day at the office? Make a conscious effort to cut out the internal chatter and list making and just be in the present. See how long you can go without taking yourself out of your present awareness and then set the goal to go longer next time.
Avoid the Rush: It is tempting to go through life in a hurry, wanting things done immediately but life is not like that. In most instances, things get done at the same rate whether we hurry or not. Becoming impatient does not make things happen any faster. The next time you find yourself tapping your foot while standing in lines or getting frustrated while waiting for your food order to arrive, try using the time constructively. Bring a novel with you and read a chapter while waiting for the dentist, do some deep breathing exercises, or simply enjoy a conversation with a fellow patron. It will make time fly by (or just seem like it).
Stop Butting In: How many times did your mother tell you it is rude to interrupt? This is something that all of us have learned but many of us do not practice. Not only is it rude to the speaker, but oftentimes what we say can be hurtful to others. Learn to listen well, wait for the speaker to stop, count to three, and then speak your mind. More often than not, you will find that what you wanted to say wasn’t really all that urgent anyway. And this can also save you from giving a hasty, unplanned response that could potentially cost you a friendship or cause career troubles.
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