"Patience is not simply the ability to wait-it's how we behave while we're waiting".- Joyce Meyer
Patience is the ability to handle the frustration of something not happening at the speed in which we desire it. Or more technically, the official definition is: "the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset".
Developing patience is often seen as a skill that grows as a person matures, although it is quite common even for adults to struggle to maintain patience for a desired outcome.
Being able to tolerate delayed gratification requires patience.
A lack of patience often leads to strained relationships, as we will often see other's with eyes of irritation and criticism when they are not operating at the speed or accuracy that we expect. Growing our patience will also grow improved connections with others.
A 4-step journey towards improved patience:
Recognize and Acknowledge the Stress. We can notice the stressor we feel when we are waiting for something to happen. When we are aware of the discomfort of waiting, we can engage tools to allow us to grow our tolerance for that discomfort. Just the act of noticing can bring us into the present moment to allow us to relax into the discomfort.
Breath into the Discomfort. Often, when stressed, our breathing pattern becomes shallow and adds tension to our body and mind. Breathing brings us into the present moment and allows us to begin to communicate with our body that all is well. We are in no danger. Here we can expand our tolerance for this discomfort and every time we do this we grow our baseline for patience.
Supportive Self Talk. We can remind ourselves that although we want a desired outcome immediately, we will be ok to wait. Self talk allows us to busy our mind with supportive self communication with in turn also allows time to go by... thus supporting our journey towards ever growing patience. Use a mantra or repetitive internal supportive message such as "I am growing my patience".
Find Ways To Practice. Create opportunities to practice this skill. The more we actively practice patience, the more our ability to tolerate the discomfort grows. In turn, we now have more patience.
In times like these, instant gratification is expected due to the speed at which life happens and developing the skill of patience often requires conscious action and awareness. Developing this skill allows our nervous system to exist on a much calmer level because waiting no longer stresses us out. The less stressed we feel internally, the healthier we become in both mind and body. Most importantly, as we develop patience, we often create more harmonious relationships around us.