Become More Patient Or Miss Your Life
They say patience is a virtue. Being patient is an internal process. No matter what is going on in the outside world, you can choose whether you want to flit from one thing to the next, or if you want to take things slow.
Impatience is thinking about the next thing you must get done while you are trying to rush through your conversation with your coworker.
Impatience is getting gradually more and more frustrated as you wait for your significant other to get ready. (They are taking forever!)
Being impatient is becoming increasingly furious as you sit in bumper to bumper traffic on the way to work.
Impatience rears its ugly head in numerous ways throughout your day. And the more impatient you are, the less you are actually experiencing the moments of your life. You miss the opportunity to notice the beautiful sunrise you have the opportunity to pay attention to every single morning. You miss out on truly listening to your family, friends, and coworkers.
Life passes you by and you sit wondering where it went.
Patience is important because it gives you a renewed perspective of accepting your experiences instead of wishing they were different. And that completely changes everything.
Here are my 4 tips for how to be patient.
How To Be Patient
1. Get Bored
Boredom seems intolerable to many people. People are becoming less familiar with boredom now that they can access technology at any moment of the day.
Boredom is important to give your mind the opportunity to wander and process the information you take in throughout the day. Boredom gives you the opportunity to tune into yourself, become more creative, and solve problems.
[Learn more about the link between boredom and creativity by checking out this book, Bored And Brilliant. It’s an entertaining and enlightening read.]
Have you ever had a lightbulb moment while taking a shower? This is an example of the powerful effects of being bored.
When you become more comfortable with boredom, you become more patient because the idea of doing nothing isn’t so terrible.
Make it a point to spend some time undistracted a few times a week.
Embrace the wait. Embrace the discomfort. Whatever you think is so important can probably wait.
2. Take Things One Day At A Time
You only have control over this moment, right now. The more you obsess over getting somewhere more quickly or rushing through this moment, the more you are going to suffer.
How often are you thinking about a moment other than right now? How does this affect your mood?
Studies show that people are unhappier thinking about a moment other than right now, no matter what they are doing. The more you try to rush through life, the more you will miss and the more frustrated you will feel because you can’t speed up time.
The next time you catch yourself feeling impatient or trying to race onward to the next goal or weekend or accomplishment… remember that you can only take things one step and one day at a time.
It is the little moments of every day that make life enjoyable. Often when somebody loses a loved one they miss the ordinary moments of life, not the huge events that we put so much importance on.
3. Be Kind And Compassionate To Yourself And Others
Compassion and patience are closely related. The thing they both have in common is the gentle touch of understanding, as opposed to the rough frustration of impatience.
Being compassionate is extending sympathy, kindness, and humanity towards yourself and others. This is an important quality to help you learn how to be patient because impatience often results in you feeling frustrated and irritable.
Practice being more compassionate by using positive self-talk. A few examples of such statements are:
Being compassionate takes practice, but it can help you ease the discomfort and difficult emotions that often accompany impatience.
4. Overestimate The Time It Takes To Do Something
I used to be a chronic underestimator. (I still am sometimes). The one area I still struggle with this is when I’m following recipes.
Is it just me, or is the estimated time always way too short? The bad part about this is that I then feel rushed and frustrated and lack the patience to get through the recipe if the meal has to be made for a certain event.
I have since learned to always overestimate and double the amount of time I think it takes to do anything.
This results in two things:
- You have the time to do things slowly, calmly, and properly.
- You do not feel rushed, impatient, or frustrated (hopefully).
Go buy groceries when you know you will have plenty of time if the line ends up being long. Leave for work early enough that you will still be on time if there is traffic. Give yourself twice as much time to make cupcakes for your sister’s birthday.
Overestimate and you don’t have to feel as rushed, stressed, or impatient.
Patience Will Help You Feel Calmer
Practicing patience requires noticing your mindset and shifting it using the tips I shared above. The benefits of practicing patience are feeling more satisfied, calmer, and suffering less (especially when you have no control over a situation).
A patient mind is a calm mind.