The art of patience
Ok, so I’ve had one of those weekends where I’ve really struggled with patience. Everything seemed challenging: reading, writing, behavior and by Sunday evening, I was at the end of my tether. I sent my daughter to her room just so I could have a break from it all. I know, not stellar behavior on my part.
I really wanted to write about patience today and how it really is a struggle sometimes.
I went searching for inspiration online – I thought I’d find some quotes that would lift me up and boost my spirits as I prepare for the week ahead. Here is a little selection of what I found:
“Patience is not the ability to wait but how you act while you are waiting” Joyce Meyer
“Patience is the gift of being able to see past the emotion” Rodney Williams
“A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves a thousand moments of regret” Anonymous
There were many more such quotes and they served not to lift me up, but to make me feel even worse about myself! On greater reflection, I guess what I am really seeking is some tips of how to be more patient.
So with greater clarity I consulted the web again, this time searching sites such as Lifehack, Dailyworth, Mindtools and even Oprah. I found lots of articles and lots of wisdom. I summarize my favorite takeaways (please note, I have ignored patronizing advice such as “enjoy the moment” as this does not work for me in my tense situations with my daughter):
- Breathe – seems the age-old advice of taking 5 deep breaths or counting to 10, is still top of the list when trying to invoke patience.
- Smile. Fake it if you have to. Love this one!
- Look at the big picture – ask yourself “will this matter to me next week? Next year? In 10 years time?”
- Stop demanding perfection of yourself. You are only human. Amen to this one!
- Keep a journal – write it out, in detail and in Technicolor. Apparently this is very therapeutic.
- Practice active and empathetic listening (if you can in the situation).
- Practice patience everyday – apparently you can become “better” at being patient by practice. So walk home the long way some days, stand on a longer queue at the supermarket or perhaps sit through an excruciating TV programme/football match – whatever you don’t like that your partner loves.
- And if all else fails, zone out.
A final little tip from me: if you are into meditation checkout Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world– it’s all the rage at the moment. Alternatively, checkout the app “Headspace” which you can download on the App Store.
Here’s to a more patient week.