Growing Patience


The world would be a better place if we exercised a bit more patience.  There are a number of occasions in our life where with a little bit of patience we could have been more calm, composed and pleasant, which would have made us feel good. But in those moments we chose to act out of impatience causing more frustration and anger which left us feeling inept. Not a good mental state to be in as it has an unhealthy impact on the body as well.

This is not a skill everyone is born with. It takes constant practice to take control over our negative emotions.  In fact this is a life skill that everyone needs to have. Everyday there are plenty of reasons to be impatient. Long line at a store, traffic, telemarketers, goal not materializing fast enough and many more such situations.  The key in all these situations is that the subject of these experiences is always us – meaning whatever the external situations, we are in the center of that experience. Essentially the only way to solve this problem is by taking control over our emotions by being mindful and aware of how we are feeling, because the external situation cannot be changed.

If you ever felt that you were a victim of the situation then think again. It is your emotions that are out of control and no one other than you can change that. Definitely there are methods and tools that teachers and guides have provided, but ultimately it is left to us to use these tools and methods to get  ourselves to a better place. So now that we know that the control is with us, does that leave us as victim or empowered?  We are all empowered with inherent capabilities to handle any situation. It is matter of realizing that we can do it using simple methods that work to that effect.  By cultivating patience and managing our emotions better we can live with less stress, anxiety and frustration.

It is not just about exercising better control over oneself, but also about managing our relationships with the outside world.  Overall when we are less stressed, we laugh a lot more and treat people around us better. If we observe our thought patterns, we find that most of our thoughts are about people and much of it is negative.  Whatever the nature of our work, we ultimately have to deal with people. So in order to be successful in navigating these relationships whether at home, work  and elsewhere, cultivating patience goes a long way in building relationships that are caring and respectful.  Everyone appreciates a smiling and patient interaction.  The world at once becomes a better place.

Here are few things to do when impatience gnaws at you.

1) The most famous technique is to slowly count down from ten to one.  Try it when you are faced with a situation that tries the limits of your patience.

2) Breath and thought are directly connected. The way you think is the way  you breathe and vice versa. Have you noticed that when you are relaxed, calm and joyful your breathing is deep?  Take deep breaths and notice your mind calming down.

3)  Listen to calming music. Slow music that has the sounds of nature woven into it can soothe the system. This is very good therapy especially while dealing with heavy traffic conditions. Research has shown that music can change brain waves. Music does wonders to bring relaxation to the entire system.

4) Teach yourself patience.  One of the ways of doing that is finding situations which has tested your patience in the past. If it is a long line that bothers you, then find the longest line the grocery store and wait for your turn.  Remind yourself that you will wait peacefully and joyfully and genuinely be that.

5) The true and tried method of yoga and meditation never fails to come to our rescue. Daily practice of even 10 minutes of any form of yoga, meditation, or mindfulness can relieve stress and make us more joyful.  These by themselves are complete methods that we can incorporate in our life.

Yoga and meditation when complimented with some of these above methods will put us in a much more balanced state.  Finally what we all want is to feel less stressed and frustrated and more in control of ourselves. Slowly but surely when we get to that point we will begin to enjoy life more. Patience is truly a virtue that needs to be nurtured and grown.

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