by Rosita Chakardan
We’ve all experienced it; the feeling of impatience. Usually, you can feel your body temperature rising, your muscles tensing up, and your breathing quicken while a surge of anger begins to bubble up. Some common situations that many say trigger feelings of impatience include long lines, slow moving traffic, or listening to someone long-winded.
The effects of impatience are mostly detrimental to ourselves because they increase stress levels and interfere with our enjoyment of life. At the same time, impatience can hinder our ability to build strong relationships and develop our careers.
If you want to become a more patient person, it will take time and practice: it will take patience. Here are some tips to help you develop patience.
The reason you’re feeling irritable is because things aren’t going as you’d like them to and your system is pushing back.
Intentionally Practice Waiting
We are becoming more accustomed to instant results thanks to the ubiquity of increasingly advanced technology in our lives, so when we face situations where we have to wait for things, we can find that we no longer have any patience to do so. For example, if you don’t like a video streaming on your social media page, you simply scroll past it. However, if you’re speaking with someone and you’re just not interested in what they’re saying, you cannot simply walk away without coming across as rude and inconsiderate. Take the opportunity to make yourself wait, such as letting someone ahead of you in line at the grocery store.
Relax Your Body
As mentioned before, impatience also has physiological effects. First, determine what those are for you the next time you experience impatience coursing through your body. Do you feel your heart beating faster, your jaw tightening, or your body getting fidgety? Be aware of what is happening in your body from head to toe and slow down your physical reactions while taking deep breaths. This can help in regaining your normal state.
Being able to self-soothe is a great skill to have overall in life, but it is also a great tool to help combat impatience. When you find yourself getting impatient, talk to yourself. The reason you’re feeling irritable is because things aren’t going as you’d like them to and your system is pushing back. Self-talk can help alleviate the discomfort and nudge you toward accepting the situation you are in. For instance, if you’re stuck in traffic, you can say “This is a great opportunity for me to sit back and relax, listen to music, or enjoy the silence.”
Don’t Let Negativity Control You
The reason self-talk can be helpful is because the brain can spin out of control with negative thoughts when it doesn’t get what it expects. You are in charge of your feelings and actions as long as you are conscious of what fuels you – for example, the negative thoughts that play in your head like background music. Be aware of such thoughts and you will have a better understanding of why you are feeling the way you’re feeling. Counteract this by allowing your thoughts to pass through without judgement and focus on positive thoughts instead.
Avoid Instant Gratification
Similar to practicing waiting at your own will, delaying gratification can help your system become more accustomed to practicing patience. Little doses of delayed gratification, such as waiting an extra 15 minutes to eat your treat, will allow you to control your emotions and impulses.