Losing your patience can damage your career and your personal relationships.
Learning to become patient puts you in the pole position to display self-control, show restraint, and delay gratification. Patience is effective on all kind of wounds. It is simply up to you to learn how to apply patience and watch your frustration go away as your peace comes.
“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Step 0. Learn to visualize
Spend time alone before a frustrating situation comes up. During this period, you can visualize how you want to react when you are triggered by something or someone. Visualize how you will handle the situation, what you will say, and how you will look for (or react to) the trigger. Understand that how you react should not escalate or aggravate a situation. Visualizing the perfect situation will help you be calm when you are pushed by a trigger.
Step 1. Know what your triggers are
Losing your patience frequently should make you more aware of what triggers it. You should focus on what triggers you to lose your patience, whether it is when your coworker does something irritating or when your spouse doesn’t pay attention to what you have to say. While some triggers are more frequent than others, you should be aware of them to learn patience.
Step 2. Learn to count to 10
This works most of the time. By counting (in your mind) slowly from 1 to 10, you will be able to release the initial impulse to yell or do something out of frustration. Be calm and focus on your breathing to practice this tip more effectively.
Step 3. Take deep breaths
Losing patience should give you enough time to take a deep breath. Breathe out slowly when you first start to lose your patience. Take another three breaths. And another. Slowly, your frustration will melt away.
Step 4. Learn to manage your emotions
How you react in every situation is in your hands. The choice is yours. You should be able to choose whether or not you want to be patient. It is all up to you to manage your emotions.
Step 5. Learn to relax your body
You can consciously focus on relaxing your body. The truth is that impatience has a way of pushing you to tense your muscles involuntarily. Take slow deep breaths and relax your muscles from your toes up to the top of your head.
Step 6. Use tally marks
With this strategy, you keep tally marks on a little sheet of paper every time you lose your patience. What the tally mark strategy does for you is help you control your impulsiveness and your quickness to act. It helps you to be more aware of your response rate, making you work out an alternative reaction rather than act impulsively.
Step 7. Don’t sweat over it
Start small and do not become overly engrossed in being patient. Practice and learn to take each strategy in strides. The truth is that you cannot become patient overnight. Focus on the triggers that induce a mild impatience within you. Start with the trigger that pushes you mildly and focus on that one trigger. By controlling this trigger, you can move on and use what you have learned to focus on the next small trigger. Learn to focus gradually and practice this accordingly. Slowly, you will get to your destination. It takes time but it can be done if you direct your effort, one at a time.