When life throws challenges and obstacles in your path, it can sometimes be difficult to stay patient and keep your stress in check. Fortunately, most of us have to naturally develop patience as we grow up and get older, but some people are always going to be more patient than others. No matter where you are on the patience spectrum right now, you can train your patience and harmony in several simple ways. Read on to learn how to increase your patience and reduce stress, even during trying or challenging times.
Most people are on autopilot when it comes to emotions, oftentimes also avoiding them, burying them, or otherwise not dealing with them. In some generations, emotions were considered bad and not constructive, which is partially true, but the impact of avoiding your emotional challenges can manifest itself as anything from heart disease or cancer to anxiety and depression. The simplest answer? This happens because we’re not paying attention to what matters: our emotions.
What does patience have to do with this? Well, patience is on the opposite end of the spectrum from anger, irritability, and having a short fuse, and we all know that anger and irritation can also have some negative medical consequences like high blood pressure and heart attack.
So, how do you go about developing your patience, not only to avoid some of these health threats, but also to make life easier and happier for yourself and everyone who comes into contact with you?
5 Ways to Increase Your Patience
1. Chew your food very slowly. Yes, this is also a mindfulness technique, but mindfulness and patience go hand in hand ;).
2. Laugh at yourself. Though this may seem anticlimactic, it’s a good way to keep things in perspective and not take yourself or life too seriously.
3. Distract yourself from what’s annoying you. Just do something else for a few minutes and you should be back on track in no time.
4. Don’t focus on the ideal or perfection. It’s okay to not be perfect and to not focus on getting every minute detail exactly how you want it. Sometimes things just need to get done, and other times the mistakes or non-perfection actually make for a much better outcome.
5. Study or visit a place with a different cultural background than what you’re used to. This will offer you perspective on life as well as new ideas on how to handle certain situations.
Like happiness, patience is a skill that can be cultivated through mindfulness, meditation, and inner work or mental training. Yes, it does take work, but I’m confident that you’ll get better and better at doing inner work once you begin. The first time is always the most difficult and nerve-racking, so don’t focus on how nervous you are or how new your activity is. Just get it done, enjoy the process, and move on.
When you begin to train your patience, you might find yourself handling situations much more calmly than you ever have before. That’s fantastic! Keep up the awesome work, and don’t abandon your inner work just because you saw progress. This whole patience and mindfulness thing has to be an ongoing habit throughout your daily life to have the most impact. Don’t sell yourself short by quitting when you begin to get ahead. Keep at it instead so that you can live your happiest and most joyful life.
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Need some help with your mindfulness practice? The Mindful Moments can certainly help!