#7 Practice Patience
Not many people would say I’m a patient person. (I’d disagree, of course, but that’s for a different post.) Impatience is a stressor. Impatience causes conflict. Impatience is a result of trying to control something that is not within your control. Give up control; have more patience, and less stress. For these reasons, #7 on my list of ways to create a more simplified and fulfilling 2018 is to practice patience.
#7. Practice Patience
The first step in practicing patience?
Recognize impatience when it hits you.
- Stuck in traffic and you’re late or an appointment. Standing the checkout lane behind that person with 102 discount coupons and every other one is rejected by the computer which requires a review of the purchased items and a manual entry. Waiting at the airline gate for your delayed flight after the third announcement that “we’ll have more information for you shortly”.Instead of going into autopilot and flipping out, recognize that your heart rate has increased, as, has your blood pressure, most likely. Take a breath and feel it. You can probably feel the beating in your chest and your face might even be beginning to feel warm. Think about the fact that something that is completely and totally external to anything you have control over has control over your vital signs. Amazing, right?Does it make that person with 51 non-working discount coupons reasonable, polite or right? No. Does it make the traffic any better or help you get to your appointment on time? No. But it does keep your mind calm and your words civil. Recognize when you’re feeling impatience. Is there anything you can do about it other than complain or make others as miserable as you? If not, chill. If so, do it.
Manage your boundaries – aka: Cut the toxic people off.
- It’s amazing how others impact our moods, which effects how we react to events, meaning impatiently. I’ve found that eliminating people that take more energy from me than I receive from the “friendship” makes me a much nicer and more patient person.
Commit to being early.
- I hate to waste time. Somehow my being has turned this aversion to wasting time into procrastination. Intellectually, I know it’s not a help. But something deep in my soul chants “LATER” when thinking about doing something that doesn’t HAVE to be done now. This will hopefully help me avoid the traffic jam impatience or racing around town trying to find pre-made demi-glace for the Chateaubriand you’re making for that dinner party tonight.
- Sitting in Austin traffic, we’re going to be cutting it close for the start of the movie. Rude drivers are using the shoulder on the right to go around us and then to merge back in a few cars up, slowing the backup even further. Yep – my blood pressure is rising now just typing this. It was bad. But – I sat there, looked at Kurt who was taking me to the movies. How lucky am I to have a wonderful guy taking me to the movies?? We’re sitting in this traffic in a lovely Mercedes Benz with a full tank of gas. AND, it was because I couldn’t find my sunglasses that we left later than we wanted in the first place.
- Let’s think about that person in the checkout line with 102 discount coupons, 51 of which weren’t working. This person spent a lot of time and energy getting those coupons together for a reason. It didn’t appear to be a crazy couponer, but someone who needed the discounts to make ends meet. I respect for that. I have empathy for them and gratitude that I’m able to shop for necessities without needing discounts (although I love to save money).
Give up the Expectations.
- Of the times you’ve been the most impatient and frustrated, how many were because something or someone else did not meet your expectations? All of them? Probably, yes. Every example in this post is a negative situation only because something unfolded that was not expected. Every one one the these examples is also a situation in which we are the bystander and are not in control. We are not the driver creating the traffic jam, nor the shopper with the coupons, nor the merchandise manager stocking the shelves. We’re allowing the situation, over which we have no control but all the expectations, to frustrate us.How can we eliminate the frustration other than venting about how frustrated we are and possibly saying something we’ll regret? If there is, do it. If not, chill. As Shakespeare said:
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.”
Maybe he has something, there.
I’m sure there are other things you can do to improve your patience. Deep breathing, counting to 10, getting enough rest, exercising, etc. Let me know what works for you. For me, these are my focus and how I’ll practice patience this year.
10 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Be More Fulfilled