“Patience is the ability to tolerate waiting, delay, or frustration without becoming agitated or upset. It’s the ability to be able to control your emotions or impulses and proceed calmly when faced with difficulties. It comes from the Latin word pati which means to suffer, to endure, to bear. “


Why is it important to develop patience?  It is important because not controlling your emotions can lead to further stress and difficulty.  If you are impatient you will find yourself frustrated often.  Patience allows you to move forward in a calm manner which will lower your overall stress.

Tips on how to develop patience

  1. Take care of your own basic needs.  If you are hungry or tired it is more likely that you will lose your patience.
  2. Move slower.  If you are constantly rushing than you will be impatient with those who are not keeping up with you.  By moving slower you are more likely to be patient and it will help you be more present.
  3. Practice resisting the need for immediate gratification.  If you want something immediately in the moment such as food take some time before you give in to the impulse.  People who have a strong need for immediate gratification are often more impatient.
  4. Practice taking a few seconds before you speak.
  5. Try to not be rigid in your thinking.  Things seldom go as we plan them, being flexible with obstacles rather than fighting them makes coping easier.
  6. Plan ahead.  Allow extra time for the obstacles.  If you plan ahead than you are less likely to be rushing which means you are more likely to be patient.
  7. When you find yourself losing your patience stop and take a few moments to allow yourself to calm down.  This is a great time to practice those deep breathes.
  8. Know your triggers for impatience so that you can avoid them or plan around them.  If you know someone is often late than you can plan to do something while you are waiting rather than sitting and stewing.
  9. Use waiting time to either do something else or better yet meditate or do breathing exercises.
  10. Like any skill we try to develop it will take time to be more patient.  Allocate a certain amount of time such as an hour or a day to really concentrate on building patience.  It may be a cliche but practice makes perfect (or as close to it as humans can get).

Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead. –Mac McCleary [2]


[1] http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/patience.html

[2] http://lifelessons4u.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/developing-patience/

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