Reflecting on my grade school days, I don't really remember being taught the necessary skills for practicing patience or mindfulness in general.
I'm sure we've all heard that saying, "Patience is a virtue." Meaning the ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset is an admirable and desirable quality to have.
But how does one master the art of patience?
Patience depends on personality, your personal history, and the situation.
"Personality plays a role in why some of us tend to respond to life’s delays and setbacks with more calm than others. Studies have shown, for example, that people who are more conscientious, agreeable, and open to new experience tend to have more patience — and people who have fewer of those traits tend to be more likely to be impatient.
The habits we develop, ability to regulate emotions, and our expectations in a given situation all affect our capacity to respond with patience, as do situational variables like whether we’re overtired, ill, hungry, stressed, or, even, overheated." (Sarah DiGiulio)
Here are some tips for practicing patience:
Mindfulness is all about being present. One of the best ways to practice being present is through deep breathing, or meditation. Incorporating meditation into your daily routine can improve your ability to come back to the present moment when you catch yourself with racing thoughts or feeling overwhelmed about the future.
Learn to accept your current circumstances.
Acceptance is key. If there is something in your life you wish could be different, but it's out of your control, the best thing you can do is learn to accept the situation for what it is in that moment in time.
Practice the art of feeling uncomfortable.
Oi! Being uncomfortable is hard. But sometimes learning how to sit with our uncomfortable emotions can actually help us build emotional resilience. So next time you find yourself feeling any uncomfortable emotion - irritability, anxiety, anger, jealousy, frustration, stress, exhaustion, overstimulation, etc. - take a few moments to acknowledge what you're feeling and allow yourself to just feel it without necessarily projecting, judging, or running from it. Breathe through it!
Learn to slow down.
Good things take time. Instant gratification from the internet has created this heightened need for us to get everything we want right away in real life. You don’t have to feel like a hamster on a wheel all the time. Know that you can choose slow. In our culture that prizes speed, know that there is value to be had in slow living too.
Take yourself less seriously.
Why so serious? Seriously, though. The best remedy for when things don't go as planned is to laugh it off. Laughter Therapy is real!!! Not everything is going to go your way, and it's up to you to decide how to react. Will you allow it to wreck you completely and be hard on yourself, or will you laugh it off and smile through the growing pains and life lessons?
Surrender to the unknown.
When you find yourself feeling impatient with a situation, remember that the universe probably hasn't given you the results you're yearning for right away for a reason. Sometimes there's things happening behind closed doors that the universe is taking care of for us and it requires us to be patient and surrender to the unknown. Only then, when we relinquish full control of how we want our lives to unfold, and practice patience, can we begin to enjoy who we are in this very moment.
"Inner peace can be seen as the ultimate benefit of practicing patience." ~ Allen Lokos