Living within a virtual world has increased our expectations and lessened the need for patience in many ways.
- Most things happen in an instant and everything is moving faster.
- We’re connected, yet we can disconnect when we’re frustrated with people or situations rather than deal with the cause.
Since we practice patience less, we are more impatient when situations arise that demand more of it. Some of us weren’t very patient to begin with and today’s world has only made it worse.
The great news is patience is a skill that can be mastered with a few new habits and an improved attitude. In fact, there are many respected experts who can teach us how. We’re sharing some of their best tips with you below.
How Can I Become More Patient?
1. Practice Waiting
There have been a number of studies that remark on how instant gratification has a depressing effect on the psyche of most people. You can learn to be more patient by simply practicing the art.
In the beginning, you should practice waiting for short periods of time. For example, if someone is late and you want to send them an impatient text, delay yourself for 5 minutes and think about the logical explanations for their tardiness. The next time it happens, wait for 10 minutes and so on. Eventually you’ll be more patient with most situations, and learn to view these situations in a way that diffuses your anger.
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”
~ Joyce Meyer
2. Schedule Your Priorities
It’s easy to get caught in a perpetual cycle of obligations or wasting time on ‘busy work’. Try writing a short list of the things you have to do in a week. Prioritize your tasks in order of importance and make it a goal to finish the first five. Focus on nothing else until those things are done, then move on to the next five.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
~ Stephen Covey
3. Relax to Refocus
If you feel yourself becoming anxious or frustrated, it’s important to find out why you feel that way. There can be a few different reasons for it, but they’re often easy to identify with a little introspection.
A common cause, for example, is procrastination. Like most people, I’ve struggled with that myself. I found the most effective way to deal with procrastination is to relax and focus on the end result. Take a moment to visualize it and really feel the sense of accomplishment. Then, get on with it. When you feel uninspired and want to procrastinate before the task is finished, repeat the exercise to stay on track and reach your goal.
“Decide what you want, know that you deserve it, believe you can have it, and take one step toward it.”
~ Jack Canfield
Visualizing is a powerful tool that can help you overcome anything, from past trauma to bad habits. It allows you to shift your focus so you see problems (and life) in a different light.
“Patience is to be calm no matter what happens, constantly take action to turn it to positive growth opportunities, and have faith to believe that it will all work out in the end while you are waiting.”
~ Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
4. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude
One of the best ways to learn patience is through practicing gratitude. When you practice gratitude, it helps you to focus on the people and activities that are actually going to bring the fulfillment you crave, along with overall peace. It’s harder to be impatient with what you don’t have when you’re focused on what you DO have.
Gratefulness is more than counting your blessings. When you list what you’re grateful for, make an effort to experience the feeling of gratitude for each and every one of them. Many experts (and the world’s most successful people) recommend writing out a predetermined number of things you’re grateful for, every single morning.
“The next time things don’t seem to be going your way, just stop what you’re doing, and think about all of the things you have to be grateful for. I know that’s a pretty tall order, but if you do it, everything will start to shift in an instant. Just like snapping your fingers. When you change the way you look at the problems, the problems will change.”
~ Canadian Bob Proctor, Get Results That Stick
Being impatient can create unnecessary stress, frustration and anger that negatively impacts your life and the lives of those around you. If you really want to change, you can certainly do so by practicing patience.
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