Patience is a lost virtue in today’s cutthroat competitive world that places an increasing demand on instant results. Some may even argue that patience is no longer considered essential in a world where technological advancements help us get everything practically instantly. However, lack of patience can decrease our ability to tolerate delays and failures. With time, this can create great hindrances to reach our goals, succeed in our relationships or feel satisfied with our lives.
The Signs of Impatience
Not many will own up to being impatient. There are some telltale signs that can indicate low levels of patience though. Some of these include shallow breathing, irritability, anger, muscle tension, fist clenching, restless feet, rushing, nervousness and quick decisions, etc. when faced with a difficult situation.
Benefits of Cultivating Patience
What do you stand to benefit by being patient? How will being patient make your life better? Take a look at some of the benefits your patience can get you in the long run.
- Reduced Stress
Practicing patience allows you to reduce your stress levels drastically. You get to gain more control of your emotions in addition to finding it easier to deal with difficult situations without getting overwhelmed.
- Higher Empathy and Compassion
Practicing patience helps you develop a feeling of compassion and empathy. It allows you to understand those around you better. This leads to more loving relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
- Better Decisions
Patience helps you make better decisions. With patience, you take more time to process the facts involved in decision making, including the pros and cons before finalizing a decision. This, in turn, reduces the room for errors caused by hasty decisions.
Essential Tips to Cultivate Patience
Here are some tips you can use to cultivate patience in order to lead a healthier, happier life.
- Slow Down
If you tend to hurry things up, slow down immediately. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. So slow down, take a deep breath before making any move. For instance, a long line at the checkout counter in a mall is not a reason for you to get all worked up. Simply listen to music and while your time as the line moves.
- Control Anger Outbursts
Are you feeling the onset of an anger outburst triggered by impatience? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and count to 10 slowly. This will help cool down your body and mind as your heart rate returns to normal. It will also help you take a more rational approach to dealing with the situation rather than venting out your anger.
- Delay Gratification
Much of the impatience we feel is due to delayed recognitions and gratifications. Learn to accept these kinds of situations in your personal and professional lives by practicing them beforehand. Let’s say you finished your work and think about rewarding yourself for a job well done.
Pause for a moment and consider whether it really is necessary for you to get that reward and whether you will be able to do without it. Try forgoing this reward with reasons you can give yourself. This will help you deal with similar situations in a more rational manner.
- Stop Being a Perfectionist
If you are a perfectionist, you will expect everyone around you to be the same. This can often lead to issues wherein even the tiniest of slipups can leave you reeling in anger or depression. So stop being the perfectionist that you are. Allow room for mistakes and learn to deal with time in a rational manner. With time, this will not only increase your self-control, but will also ensure you become a more productive person.
In a world where instant results are needed, patience is no longer considered a necessary virtue. However, it is a really valuable character trait as well as a form of self-discipline that can help you become more productive.