January 10th, 2020
This topic came to be when I spoke with my friend Julie about her 2021 resolutions. She said her only resolution was to become more patient. I was quite intrigued as I never heard or thought of this as a possible goal to work towards. It does make a lot of sense - being patient means you are less angry, stressed or overwhelmed. You are in control of how you react and you become less impulsive. I decided to write about it because I personally am an impatient person, I can definitely react strongly to certain events (people driving badly, someone being rude for now reason, and long line-ups.) Let's go over a few tips that can help develop more patience this year and be our most calm selves (or 10% calmer!)
1- Take mental notes of events where you feel impatient
Mindfulness goes hand in hand with the practice of patience since you will have to identify the triggering events in order to switch up your response and "practice" being patient. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities that test us everyday, whether it's choosing not to snap back at someone, or not getting angry when someone is late; there are ample choice of inconveniences and unplanned challenges. Being more aware of what type of events you find difficult to deal with will guide what you should focus on.
2- Incorporate breathing as a technique
This seems like a simple tip, but there is something to be said about taking big breaths when things go south. Taking slow and deep breaths helps calm us and ease the impatient feelings that are lingering. Walking around outside surprisingly also helps me gain some clarity. Anytime you feel overwhelmed by an event, you should take a beat, breathe and tell yourself some positive reinforcement.
3- Learn to accept instead of resist
Acceptance instead of resistance refers to accepting certain situations as they are because they cannot be changed. It means that knowing you cannot change the situation anyway, your default reaction should be to be open and neutral about a situation happening. This paradigm switch helps tackle the day with a more steady mindset.
4- Declutter your schedule
At the start of the day or the week, look at your schedule and try to remove 2 or 3 items that are time-consuming but unnecessary. Having less on our plates means that we can have more bandwidth and mental space to deal with the unexpected inconveniences.
Hoping these few tips will help you this year be more calm and composed. There's plenty of challenges, we can't make them go away, but controlling our response will make sure that we can stay calm and steady through it all.