It's hard to wait, and being patient can be a practice that takes effort. From waiting for an important call to remaining calm when making decisions, staying composed is a practice that shows intelligence and self-control. Here are a few tips for having more patience the next time you find yourself feeling a bit too eager:
- Deep, slow breaths: When you're in the moment and can't seem to get a grip, take five slow, deep breaths. While breathing, imagine yourself calming down until you feel in control.
- Timetable: The best way to create a composed demeanor is to learn how to keep your emotions in check. Take note of the times of day you seem impatient, what is happening, and how the elevated mood could be avoided. Sometimes simply being aware of times that are challenging helps keep your emotions in check.
- Practice active listening: Whether at the office or out with your besties, active listening encourages you to really listen and respond to what you hear, encouraging patience. Active listening engages the listener to re-state or rephrase the information heard back to the speaker. This creates greater understanding and reduces tensions, building a calm atmosphere for all participating in the conversation.
- Talk yourself out of it: When you're itching to send that follow-up email even though you know it's too early for a response, talk yourself out of it. Count to 10, tell yourself all the reasons why you should wait, have a quick discussion with yourself about the weather — anything that will keep you from being an eager beaver.
- Stop being a perfectionist: We all want things to be perfect, but obsessing over the details can cause impatience when staying composed matters most. Use positive visualization to imagine that big presentation going perfectly or an important interview ending successfully, which encourages a resolved attitude even when things don't go as planned.
- Think big: Instead of focusing on your feelings, think of the bigger picture. If you can, remove yourself from the situation and take a few moments to think about all the elements that are causing you to feel impatient. Is this something that will matter in your life 10 years from now? Is it worth the time and energy you're spending being impatient? Most often the answer is no. Instead of feeling frustrated, count all the things you are thankful for.
- Be the bigger person: When your friend is running late, which in turn makes you late, be the bigger person and let it go. Instead of focusing on the issue, move forward with dignity and grace.
- Write about it: Keep a journal documenting when you feel impatient. Write all about it, including as many details as you can, and how and when you calmed down. Once finished, read what you wrote. This will help you learn how to stay composed the next time you're feeling overwhelmed.
- Be considerate: Make a point to be considerate of others. Practice patience while spending what seems like hours in the busy shopping line or while waiting for your late bus. Try de-stressing the situation by taking a few deep breaths or striking up friendly conversation with someone next to you. Before you know it, you'll feel better, and maybe you'll have helped someone else feel less stressed too.
- Zone out: There's nothing wrong with taking a quick break when you just can't seem to calm down. Listen to some tunes, go for a quick walk around the block, read a book, or check your favorite websites, which will clear your mind and refresh your patience level.
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