From fast food to instant contact via email and Smartphones, we are surrounded by products and services that provide instant gratification. The drawback to all of this instant service is that it can lead to unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others and destroys our capacity for patience.
Most of us are familiar with the frustration that begins to grow inside of us whenever we have to wait – for anything. Over time, this frustration causes our stress levels to build and can lead to a short temper along with increased blood pressure!
Try these methods to increase your patience and reduce stress:
- Take a step back. The next time that you feel frustrated over a delay or other situation, try taking a step back and looking at the issue from a different angle.
- Stewing over the circumstances isn’t helpful to anyone. Focusing on finding a solution helps your brain change gears so that you feel less stressed. It’s also easier to remain patient when you believe that a resolution is on the horizon.
- Obstacles come in many forms, from physical circumstances that prevent us from moving forward to intangible circumstances and external influences that can cause delays. Regardless of the circumstances, try looking at all aspects of the situation in order to find a solution that helps you get past the obstacle.
- Focus on what you’ve achieved. Many of us naturally begin to feel impatient if we’re making slow progress towards our goals. Rather than thinking about what you haven’t accomplished so far and how far you have to go, focus on the progress that you have made.
- Maintain your motivation and build your patience by celebrating small victories as you work towards the fulfillment of your goal.
- Take a few deep breaths when you find yourself feeling anxious about your slow progress.
- Gentle exercises that focus on stretching and breathing, such as yoga and meditation, can also help you to remain calm and patient as you work towards a goal.
- Set realistic expectations. Sometimes we become impatient with ourselves and others because we have unrealistic expectations. The next time you start to stress over a delay or other obstacle, try to be more flexible with your schedule and expectations. Consider a range of results or behaviors that would be acceptable to you.
- Identify your triggers and develop a plan to remain calm. Everyone has certain triggers – people, places, or things – that make them feel impatient and stressed. Figure out your most common triggers and think of ways that would help you successfully cope with them.
- Laughter is the best medicine. Learn to laugh at little delays and frustrations. Make up a joke about some aspect of the situation and enjoy a chuckle. You’ll feel your stress begin to melt away.
As you use these tips to build your patience and reduce your stress, you’ll learn how to pick your battles wisely and maintain your self-control in the face of delays.