Life is full of bumps in the road. Construction is blocking traffic on the way to work. Your child loses his homework folder about once a month and your boss blames you for his decision.
Sometimes you can change your circumstances. More often than not, you’ll need to change your attitude so you can run into obstacles without losing your composure.
Developing more patience will make your life run smoother. It’s like acquiring any other skill. You will need to exercise regularly.
Start with minor annoyances and work your way up to more serious issues. Take a look at these exercises to develop more patience.
Basic exercises to increase patience:
1. Find your triggers. Figure out what frustrates you and why. It can be certain events or words. Ask your family and friends for feedback if you’re not sure what usually triggers you.
2. Keep a journal. While you’re trying to be patient, it helps to keep track of your actions. Use your phone or a notebook to count the number of times you felt stressed and describe the situations.
3. Slow down. Rushing creates more tension. Stop for a moment when you feel overwhelmed so you can resist the urge to speed up.
4. Meditate on your breath. Try to maintain a daily meditation practice. Even a few minutes of deep breathing can be helpful. Put other thoughts aside by focusing on each inhale and exhale.
5. Relax your muscles. Scan your body when something troubling happens so you can quickly release the tension. Smooth your brows and set your jaws apart. Soften your neck and shoulders. Gently rub your back or any painful areas.
6. Take care of basic needs. Dehydration, hunger and lack of sleep can threaten your peace of mind. Bring a water bottle and healthy snacks so you can refuel when needed. Go to bed early and aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
7. Enjoy the weather. Heat, cold, rain, and snow can teach you to embrace change, or at least tolerate discomfort. Buy a nice warm coat or think about plants that need water to grow.
Advanced Endurance Exercises:
1. Delay gratification. Practice waiting for what you want. Delay shopping for a day or two before buying new shoes or sports equipment. Go for a walk before you eat dessert.
2. Prioritize. Are you trying to do too much? Remove non-essential tasks from your to-do list. You will have more time for the things that are really important to you.
3. Adjust your expectations. Technology makes us expect things quickly, like getting groceries delivered to your door or streaming movies and music on demand. Remember that important projects usually require significant time and effort.
4. Evaluate the results. It can be tempting to get impatient when DMV clerks escort you to the front of the line and feed you ice cream while they process your paperwork. However, you usually just feel unhappy when you lose your temper.
5. Listen carefully. Do you get annoyed when your kids ask multiple questions or colleagues talk for so long that the meeting drags on overtime? Instead of tuning them out, give them your full attention. Perhaps you will feel calmer and learn something new.
6. Be grateful and helpful. Gratitude and generosity are the main recipe for patience. Count your blessings so you can keep minor annoyances in perspective. Think about what you can share with others instead of focusing on your own comfort.
Increasing your patience will make you happier and more likable to others. You will experience less stress and get what you want more easily.
Originally published on 2019-08-06 18:44:23.