I am sometimes impatient. We all are. Especially the most driven of us. We want to get stuff done and move forward as quickly as possible. Time is always something we need to consider. If we can make a decision now, surely we should do it?
Or should we?
A number of studies highlighted here show that impatience is linked to stress, which in turn affects your general health. Studies have also shown that patient people are better friends and partners in a relationship and they are also better at achieving their goals. This is because they are more focused on the best and not necessarily the quickest way of reaching them. They also feel more satisfied when they achieve them.
So how can we practice patience? Here are 6 ways to become more patient:
Notice your impatience
Just noticing you are impatient and being able to make a conscious choice about how you act on this is a great start. It can be useful to say in your head or out loud. “I feel impatient. What am I going to do with this?”. Make this a conscious, self-controlled choice!
When you are feeling impatient notice if you are holding your breath. Holding your breath reduces your oxygen to your brain and reduces your ability for rational, cognitive thought.
Think about what happens if / what happens if not
Take just a moment and think about the impact of your impatience. What will happen if you make the decision right now? Do you have time? What do you gain/ lose?
Think about what effect will your impatience have on others?
Positive and negative? How essential is it to act now for others? Is it selfishness that means you need to have an immediate response? Is this fair? What are the short, medium and long term outcomes for the other people involved?
Take a moment to be present. Focus on your breath and relaxing your body. Stay in the present moment for 5 minutes. Then reassess the situation.
Be willing to let go
Will letting go of the moment help? Even just for a few moments. Carry out all of the above. Let go of your impulsion and allow yourself time to think.
All of the above will definitely help you reduce stress. It will also enable you to make a more educated, fair and rational decision, based on logical thought and self-control!