I aspire to be a very patient person. But, as I’ve gotten older, I seem to have less and less patience. So, I went on a scavenger hunt for myself today for ideas about becoming more patient. If you struggle with patience like I do, I think you’ll find these ideas very helpful.
But, before I go into the good stuff, lets take a step back and look at what patience is.
Dictionary.com defines patience as “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”
My problem hasn’t been with tolerating these things. I’m pretty good at looking patient. When something happens that would upset me, I can usually put on a calm face and get through it. But on the inside, behind the facade, my blood pressure rises pretty quickly when faced with delay, trouble, or suffering.
Tolerating delay, trouble, or suffering means that the event still bothers you…but you just deal with it. Strategies like “count to 10″ or “take a deep breath” imply that the issue still bothers you, but you’re just getting over it. That is far from the feeling of peace that I wanted to find.
Accepting? That’s more like it. If I could come to accept delay, trouble, or suffering, that would be the feeling I’m looking for. When faced with a challenge, to fully accept that event as okay. No anger, no upset. Just fully accepting whatever the current situation is without ever getting angry or upset in the first place.
Those were the types of ideas I went looking for. Ways to feel more patient and accept the present situation, no matter how challenging it might be. Enjoy!
Tips For Being More Patient
Be An Observer
When faced with a challenging situation, like a long line or a screaming toddler, remove yourself from the situation. Not physically, but mentally. Instead of focusing on how the problem makes you feel, focus on the entire room. Watch how other people react. Think about how you feel. Really step outside yourself and think of yourself as a third party observer of the entire situation.
Think About Something Else
When faced with a situation that might make you mad, just change your thoughts. Decide to think about something else. Go to your happy place. Imagine yourself doing something that you love. Or think about the day you met your spouse. Maybe the day your first child was born. Even something simple, like bacon or a great song. Distract yourself with happiness.
Walk A Mile In Their Shoes
When another person is testing your patience, think about what is going on in their lives outside of this conversation. How is that affecting the way they are acting at this moment? Consider the fact that they could have some very heavy things on their mind that you don’t even know about. Instead of being angry because your friend is late for a meal, consider that their tardiness could be due to something far more important than dinner.
Change How You View Patience
Instead of thinking of patience as something you have to learn to do, or be better at, what if you started viewing your patience as a gift? When someone cuts you off in traffic, you decide to give them your patience instead of your middle finger. If a child is misbehaving, you give them a calm, patient response instead of a tongue-lashing. If you can view being patient with someone as a loving gift you’re giving them, it becomes far easier to stop the frustration and just give it away.
Remember The One Thing You Can Control
Yourself. You can’t make any other person act any differently than they choose to act. You can, however, control your own attitude. No amount of screaming, tooth grinding, jaw clenching or facebook ranting will change anyone else. So, choose to react in a positive and patient way.
Do you have other ideas on how to accept challenging events in a calm and patient way? Please, share with me in the comments section below!
Have a joyful day!
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