It takes patience to heal a wound; it takes patience to reach a goal; it takes patience to deal with ourselves, as well as with others; it takes patience to accept change; it takes patience to grow; it takes patience to learn a new skill; and, it takes patience to wait for something to happen.
Philosophers and religions have long praised the virtue of patience; now scientists are doing so as well. Recent studies have found that, certainly, “good things, do actually come to those who wait”. Some of these science-backed benefits are detailed below, along with five ways to cultivate more patience to improve the quality of your life.
Why is Patience such a great virtue?
1) Patience keeps you physically healthier. Impatience often results in anger and irritability which are linked to numerous physical “stress-related diseases”, to name a few: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, ulcers, stroke, heart disease, insomnia and headaches.
Research studies show that people with higher rates of patience, have lower stress levels, and therefore, less stress related conditions.
2) Patience transforms relationships. When we are impatient, we are so focused on what we are not getting, that we can become exasperated, infuriated, and may say hurtful things. Patience helps us slow down, cool down, and prevent compulsive decisions.
3) Patience builds a healthy attitude. Impatience leads to” laser-focus” on the negative, and the inability to believe that things will ever go your way. On the other hand, patience improves your ability to accept setbacks, allows you to persevere, make more productive decisions, stay grateful for what is good, and see the bright side of life.
4) Patience is key to achieve your goals. The path to achievement is a long one, and those who want to see results immediately- without patience-may not be willing to walk it. According to research analysis, patient achievers are more content with their lives as a whole, mainly because there is greater satisfaction with achieving their goals.
How to build Patience?
1) Learn to expect “interferences”: A day can hardly go by without encountering something that interferes with our plans. Therefore, we can say that “interferences” are a normal part of life; to expect otherwise, will naturally make us feel impatient. Patience – or impatience- occurs in response to some sort of difficulty or delay in life that is not going according to our expectation. Could it be that one of the strategies for developing patience is adjusting our expectations so that they are more realistic?
2) Slow Down:To connect with your patience, pay attention to your breathing. Make your breath deeper and slower, fully expanding your lungs and all the way down to your abdomen. Taking a few slow “calming breaths” can help you regulate your emotions and refocus your mind. Physiologically, deep breathing, relaxation and exercise all serve to dissipate adrenaline (the stress chemical), and release endorphins (the calming chemical).
3) Empathize: Empathy involves asking yourself questions: “what is true about the situation?”; “what is true about others involved?”; “what is true about you?”; “What would I think, feel, want or do if I were in that person’s situation?”. Then reflect that most situations in life are neither right or wrong, and that there is more than one way to resolve them. To develop patience, focus on the big picture and say to yourself: “The others involved are doing the best they can and want a successful outcome too.” Empathy builds connection.
4) Self-Talk: To be more patient, also requires some kind of self-talk. Tell yourself: “I am going to adjust my expectations and be patient,” or “I am going to relax”. Self-talk is a crucial aspect of thinking because when we do, we are actually choosing our thoughts, which in turn, it also changes our brain chemistry. When we choose to think that we will adjust our expectations and be patient, it causes our central nervous system to relax, therefore, decreasing the release of the stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol-.
5) Surrender: There is more in life that we are powerless over than what we actually can control. However, we can control our own self, our thoughts and our actions. It’s not always easy to stay patient – especially when there is so much uncertainty. But one of the best ways to help us in practicing patience is to let go, and trust that everything happens for a reason. Hopefully that reason will benefit many lives in the future. Surrendering patiently would help us to feel less stressed, more at ease, and more at peace.
Cultivate being patient with yourself , with others, and with life itself. Practicing the skill of patience in everyday situations, will not only make life much more enjoyable and healthier in the present, but will also help lead up to more satisfying relationships, and a successful future.
I wish patience will bring health, joy, love and peace into your life. Please let me know which strategies you implement and how they work for you ! Can’t wait to hear from you !
With Love and Gratitude,