In today’s world of instant demand and gratification, patience is nothing but a lost art. Daily errands were not just a click away before, but these time-consuming tasks carried a silver lining with them by cultivating patience. Mastering patience and self-control in the face of trouble is a quality that’s beneficial to your emotional health and your life at large. Fortunately, you can develop a muscle for being calm and patient in even the most stressful or frustrating situations. The development of patience in both kids and adults involves both nature and nurture. Here are a few useful strategies to keep yourself patient, regularly.
Meditation is an almost universally prescribed medicine for stress, anxiety, and frustration. According to a 2011 Yale University study, meditation helps to switch off the parts of our brain associated with anxiety. The act calms down your mind, making it silent and patient enough to focus on something positive. You don’t need to spend hours in long sessions of meditation to achieve the results. Doing it for a short while at regular intervals in a week is useful enough.
Setting Up Cues
Just like a computer, the human psyche can retrieve the recently used information more quickly. In this way, our mind can access patience easily through some mundane cues. Choose any activity that you perform frequently throughout the day like doing freehand exercises, taking a sip of water, etc., and think of the word ‘patience’ every time. Practicing this technique will make you patient, enabling you to handle situations differently and more calmly.
Writing Yourself a Note
The phone calls from customer services can be irritating, but that doesn’t mean you have to take out all your frustrations on the cable company or health insurance agent on the other side of the phone. Pasting a note by the phone may be useful here, which can act as a reminder to keep your patience. Write something about the person you want to be while speaking on the phone. Ask this question to yourself, as it often gets lost within our daily interactions.
Using Calming Self-Talk
When panic starts to ensue, give yourself a dose of calming self-talk. If you’re late for a meeting, or half-prepared for a presentation, hit pause before going down an emotional rabbit hole. To become patient, take yourself through a series of questions, like what’s the worst that can happen and how to survive it. Once you figure these out, you can think about the next step of doing something proactively to help yourself out of the situation.
Distracting the Mind
The ability to distract your mind, especially when it’s disturbed, is a useful skill to make yourself patient. If you’re not good at daydreaming or applying your imagination actively, something as simple as fidgeting with a spinner or a tennis ball can do the trick. The goal here is to engage your mind in another non-stressful activity to wrest it from aggravation. This strategy works on kids also, as they’re likely more interested in using their imagination.