6 Steps to Becoming More Patient

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(Photo: iStock)

Whether it's regarding that promotion at work, taking the next big step in your relationship or just waiting in a hot, sweaty traffic jam, waiting really is the hardest part.

There are plenty of situations that could welcome a little more patience. Living in an age of data traveling at the speed of nanoseconds brings upon the assumption that patience is no longer welcome in our digital existence. In fact, impatience is one of the more common tendencies of our decision-making, but it doesn't have to be.

Researchers have been studying patience for decades discovering it leads to greater happiness, empathy, and optimism. However, the University of Chicago recently discovered good things really do come to those who wait.

Practice gratitude
Not only can a daily practice of gratitude open the door to a world within ourselves full of power and creativity, but it also helps us cope with stress to feel happier and more optimistic. As a muscle we must consistently nurture, gratitude can also help us practice more patience. By being thankful, you're shunning the clutter and gaining a positive emotional connection that allows you to engage with others.

When the going gets tough, try taking deep breaths. Patience is an intrinsic part of a clear and calm mind. It's not a habit to harness, but more of an inner strength we need to unleash in order to gain control of our lives. When we meditate, important things become more obvious. But when practiced daily, we become clearer about our feelings and all the noise that usually troubles us tends to decline as our struggle towards those irritations lessens.

Practice mindfulness
Once we get into a rhythm of multitasking, we can't stop. Yet when occupied with what has to be done, we became intolerant of anything that gets in our way, like waiting at Starbucks for that frappuccino. Since we live in a state of constant hurry, we must be mindful of what's irritating us. When we're thinking of a million-and-one things, patience will come more easily when we break it down and give structure to our thoughts to better get a sense of what is important. Whether you journal or share it with a friend, decoding impatience helps illuminate what's slowing you down and the value found in waiting.

Engage in positive talk
When things don't go our way, we create a negative dialogue towards ourselves. Not only is this harming our psyche and emotional well-being, but none of it is true. Positive affirmations might make you feel awkward, but they reprogram our thinking to better understand our conscious and clear mind — think back to meditation. When you want to banish impatience and bring out a more self-tolerant side, you need to stop unforeseen narratives from taking place. In fact, TED talk speaker and author, Brené Brown crushes her impatience by talking to herself with positive words. If she can do it, why not you?


Accept the uncomfortable
We deal with uncertainty every day. Surprises, twists and turns — our world is open to unanticipated changes the moment we wake up. But it's not always a bad thing. The unexpected and most often, uncomfortable events help us grow within ourselves. In order to bring out our patience, try becoming more comfortable with the uncomfortable by altering attitudes. If we modify our approach by working through anxiety and ditch the "what ifs," we build a resilience to uncertainty.

Stop and smell the roses
Patience is not just a virtue to harness daily, but a reason to be stronger, better and more tolerant of life's "grand scheme." Future planning can be exhausting but trust yourself enough to know the stuff stressing you out now is nothing you cannot handle. Will what's irritating you today affect you in a week, month or a year? Examine the big picture by stopping the hyper-focus of things that bother us. Moreover, stop and smell the roses — literally. Rutgers University suggests appreciating meaningful things or people in our lives plays a large role in overall happiness and gratitude, which in turn helps to create and promote the role of patience in our lives.