by Amanda Griffin Jacob
Patience has never been one of my virtues. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been impatient. Over the last decade, several things have helped me learn to be a more patient person. These include yoga, motherhood, and my husband (one of the most chill people on this planet).
Recently, however, I have felt a bit of regression. My patience threshold has taken a nosedive. I’m not sure what has triggered this back slide…it could be age, fatigue, or the fact that I have three active, loud, and opinionated kids who exhaust me every day. Whatever the root cause(s) I am desperate to find my Zen again. Easier said than done. Patience can be so tricky to maintain because you have to possess some level of restraint, composure, and deferred fulfillment. This is easy to have post-situation when you’re analyzing what went wrong or pre-situation when you think you can keep a handle on your emotions and reactions. It is immensely challenging to keep your patience and temper in check while you’re in the thick of things.
I did a little research to see if I could discover some methods that I could implement to assist me with my passage back into the sea of serenity. Here’s what I learned you should do when impatience takes over your mind:
- Breathe. Undoubtedly you have heard this bit of advice before but it truly helps. I practice my yoga breathing whenever I get into a space where I’m annoyed or exasperated. I’ve been forgetting to do this recently, but have been reminded that it is one of the best things you can do to calm yourself down.
- Create awareness. Stop and be still. You’re in this situation and losing your temper or patience is probably not going to help any or change the fact that you are in this position.
- Will this matter in a week? Always ask yourself how long this will matter for. Chances are most things that test your patience aren’t worth the stress you create for yourself.
- Increase your patience. There are little things you can do to help grow your patience levels. Like waiting in the longest lines, don’t watch your favorite show for a week, wait a while before having your ice cream. You can condition yourself to be more patient by practicing to be more patient. Making yourself wait and delay your gratification. After a while you will learn to be more relaxed.
- Be thankful. Lately I have been reiterating what I am grateful for in my life before I sleep. It reminds me how much I have and how fortunate I am. Research has shown that people who practice gratitude are more likely to be happier individuals, which in turn can make them more patient.
- Practice mindfulness. This is a big one and a tough one. This generation is in a perpetual state of rush. Bringing sentience to our thoughts will help slow down our mind and unclutter the noise, thereby giving us more patience.
I have realized that these reasons for my impatience aren’t likely to change anytime soon so I have to try these techniques to see if I can get back to that place of calm. Let’s see how it goes.
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