How are your patience levels these days? Patience is a trait I continue to work on.
When something pops into my head that I need to do, I would like it done now. I wait on the phone, on hold for 15 minutes and then suddenly the phone goes dead. I feel my frustration build. I feel the stress of other people being impatient with me, wanting me to immediately respond to things, I feel impatient. At the end of the day when I am running on empty and the kids are ready to bounce instead of going to bed, I feel my patience levels fall.
Lack of patience is a slippery, emotional slope that breeds reactivity. A wave of emotions that cannot be stopped until you snap, or get it off your chest. This only makes for a crappy feeling afterward and is still waiting for you the next time.
Patience is something easily overlooked, but learning how to be more patient can certainly have a big influence on your quality of life and the relationships you are in.
Schnitker says, "it helps to think about patience on a spectrum: Patience is the ability to be calm in the face of adversity, frustration or suffering, and in any given situation you’ll respond with some amount of patience (or lack of it)."
For so long patience felt like a distant relative who I rarely saw. When I dug into this deeper, a few things helped me:
First, what are the triggers that make me feel impatient? Learning to understanding why I am feeling impatient is so important. Mine often comes from being overwhelmed with too many things to do, feeling hungry or feeling tired. What are your triggers?
Then, learning to identify the sensations in my body when I am going in the direction of impatient. My body starts to tighten and my skin feels hot.
When I am aware of these sensations, I can then start to change the course of this reaction when it's happening. So perhaps I choose to take a breath or walk away for a moment. (I do understand that it can be really hard). What are your sensations?
But like everything this take practice. One small step at a time.
The most important thing about working on something for yourself is that you want to change a behaviour.
So, from today, if you feel your patience is needing a little strengthening. Slow down and ask the questions above. When we learn patience, we are calmer, we stress less and are more pleasant to be around. Sounds like a WIN WIN WIN
When we are working on a project that needs time to come to life, patience is giving it the space it needs to reach those longer term goals. Another WIN.
Quote for the week
"Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it’s how we brave while we’re waiting.”Joyce Meyer
PS: If you ever need a little more support to strengthening your patience, here are a couple ways I can help you: