Sometimes in our lives we can rush from here to there finding time just swallowing us up. On the other hand there are times when time weighs heavy and we are desperate for time to pass us by. The pace of life weather it is too fast or too slow can lead to frustration and impatience.
Impatience – means eager or desire for relief or change, restlessness, intolerance of anything that delays or hinders (ref)
It is interesting to compare the definition of patience to impatience – patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.(ref)
How often do we become annoyed, frustrated or anxious when we try to push or rush things that are not ready for whatever reason?
There is a proverb that says – it is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backwards.(ref)
We can make rash or bad decisions because we are impatient or become impatient at having to wait. Waiting can be a lesson in itself and a powerful one. I have often mused that when I have been impatient for things to happen or for decisions to be made quickly the result of having to wait are interesting and unexpected.
I am able to see with the value of hindsight and reflection that often that space and time have brought clarity to a situation, new information or a different aspect not visible at the beginning. The patience trait can be a powerful one to adopt. I think as I have aged patience is something I seek and value. The enthusiasm and desire to have it all now at this moment has its down side. What do you miss in your hurry and impatience? It is an interesting question to contemplate.
“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.” — Sir Isaac Newton (ref)
Managing yourself and learning to be more patience can be achieved by helping to stay connected with the hear and now. When we live more mindfully the skill of patience comes more easily.
The following steps can help to practice more patience
- Stops and listen to your mind racing with thoughts. Observe what they are actually saying about the situation. Try not to judge but just notice them. Remember thoughts are just a spark of electricity in your brain it is you that grab hold of them and make them real.
- Observe how impatience manifests itself in your body. Where do you notice yourself tense or uncomfortable? How does your impatient body feel? Try and relax and just follow the breath in and out to try and calm your self.
- Try and find something to help you focus on the moment something like a colour, a mantra, an object or anything that has meaning to you.
Plautus said, “ Patience is the best remedy for every trouble” (ref)
So what are the benefits of practicing a little more patience in our lives?
- It helps to lower stress as it reduces overthinking and helps to avoid anger and anxiety.
- It makes space for better problem solving and fewer errors. It allows time to assimilate information’s and establish the pros and cons.
- It allows for empathy and understanding this will help with overcoming obstacles.
- It allows time to grow as a person, evaluate and reflect .
Patience is the companion of wisdom. –St. Augustine (ref)