Practicing Patience

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Jul 25 · 3 min read

Wait Up!

In a world of instant Google results and millions of songs at your fingertips on streaming platforms, it’s easy to forget that most things take time. If you’re someone who finds themselves becoming easily impatient, take a look at some of these tips and take a breather; patience is key to living a calmer, more enjoyable life.

Recognize what makes you impatient.

Whether it be a traffic jam, your food taking a while at a restaurant, or professors not putting your grades up quick enough, the potential for impatience is all around us. While it’s easy to become impatient, you should step up and really think about what makes your impatience arise. Taking note of what gives you that antsy feeling will allow you to control it in the future and work towards improving your patience when the situation occurs again.

Think about the situation.

Consider what’s going on and what is causing the task at hand to take longer than usual. Can you do anything about the situation? If not, this is a good indication that you should not be feeling impatient about what’s going on, as there’s nothing you can do to make time speed up. If you can do something about whatever is taking so long, then do it! It’s a lot easier said than done to simply stop feeling impatient, but taking note of each situation that makes you impatient will give you the ability to dictate what deserves your impatience and what doesn’t.

Distract yourself from the impatience at hand.

Trying to get your mind off of what’s making you feel impatient can help you forget why you felt that way in the first place. If you’re waiting with friends at a restaurant for your food to come, keep the conversation going about anything but food. If you’re stuck in traffic, jam out to your favorite songs. If your professor is taking a while to post your grades, put your computer away and pick up a book instead. Shifting your focus to other things will keep your mind off of your irritation.

Decide what is important and what is not.

Are you on a time crunch? Or are you just agitated about getting something done? If your answer is yes to the first, then your impatience is justified (somewhat). Try to use some of the other tips mentioned here to help quell some of your immediate stresses about feeling impatient. If you answered yes to the second question, this is the time to recognize that this is something that stresses you out that probably shouldn’t. Realizing that your task doesn’t need to be completed on a time table will move you to realizing that this doesn’t require your stress. Doing this every time you feel stressed allows you to dictate how you manage your stress, rather than everything else around you dictating it for you.

Force yourself to wait.

This tip is a great way to practice your patience when you aren’t feeling impatient. Waiting an extra day to watch another episode of the show you’re binging or holding off on seeing the new hit movie forces you to be patient on your own doing. If you consistently practice making yourself wait for things that don’t require immediate attention, over time it’ll teach your mind that you have the capacity to wait (I promise, you don’t need everything right this minute).

Sense the parts of your body that are affected.

When you feel your impatience acting up, take note of the parts of your body that are uncomfortable as a result. Unclench your teeth, give your arm muscles a stretch, and let out that breath you’ve been holding in. Keeping your body tensed up will only add to your impatience and releasing yourself of that physical tension will help you to focus on something besides your stress and keep you from becoming overwhelmed by your task at hand.

Just relax.

Again, easier said than done, but take a breather and just relax. Nobody’s perfect, people are late for things, and some things take longer than they should. Working on shifting your mindset to one of acceptance instead of anger is beneficial in that you’re removing yourself from the situation and putting into perspective that we’re all human–waiting is a part of what we do.

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