8 ways to develop patience

April 18, 2015

2015-03-14 12.49.15Patience is so not my strong suit. The ability to not be thrown when life’s events, small and large, irritate or upset. To wait. To forbear.  No, I do not go gently into patience. I have to work on it. Develop patience.

Of this I was reminded when it took me two hours during morning commute to drive the 55 miles to San Francisco. Anxiety and stress came up for no good reason. Oh, patience! Where are you when I need you?

But its benefits are clear. Patience is good for our health–both physical and mental. Patience allows us to see details we might otherwise miss. It allows a more fulsome consideration of issues we might be contending with and time for reflection.

Ok, I’m convinced. Now, how do I get me some patience?

1.  Stop. Notice what triggers impatience or anger.  That takes the ability to stop for a moment and consider what’s going on.

2.  Counteract and transform it.  Ram Dass has talked about noticing, then greeting these feelings that seem to come up out of nowhere as old friends.  “Hello, old friend,” we can say, as we examine and counteract them.

  1. To counteract, it helps to take deep breaths.
  2. Or do some rational thinking–as in “why am I in such a hurry?” It’s usually not that important, but we have to really look at it to realize that.

  3. Or distract ourselves: for me, in traffic, it’s music.

  4. Understand that we are in control of how we respond. It may be the only thing we’re in control of in life. But we do hold that ability to transform impatience into…patience.

  5. Let go of those stressful feelings. Allow them to float out into the air.

  6. And breathe deeply again.

If not now, in retirement, when will I develop patience?  That’s what I ask myself as I work to jettison old knee-jerk habits that no longer serve me.






15 comments on “8 ways to develop patience
  1. Hubby and I affectionately refer to Boba Ram Dass as Baba Rum Raisin. It takes a lifetime to learn to Be Here Now. When I am impatient I always try to ask myself what is making me feel so small and afraid that I need to lash out.

  2. I’m learning patience as I get older. It is definitely something I have to conciously work on though. It does not come naturally to me. lol 🙂

  3. Sandy says:

    Patience is something I am constantly working on. 😉

  4. Thanks so much for your tips, I really could use some work on my patience.

  5. As always…Great advice Carol!

  6. Donna Ward says:

    Beautiful reminders – and yes I had more patience and lived in the moment when I was younger and am noticing that more now for myself – Big hugs 🙂

  7. Great reminders. I like to tell my daughters (and myself) “the key to patience is finding something to do in the meantime.” Sometimes that works for me… and them.

    One complaint: I now have Guns & Roses’ “Patience” stuck in my head. Thank you. NOT. 😛

  8. Lux Ganzon says:

    And may I just share that whenever I pray for patience, God brings people or situations into my life where my patience will surely be tested. So hard. I feel like saying, “God forget I even asked.”

    But I think that’s how it goes. You’ll never understand and develop patience until you’re at the verge of losing it. 😛

    Have a wonderful weekend, Carol. 🙂

  9. I have been blessed with the gift of patience and am only at risk of losing it at fast food drive-thru’s. I am working on that.
    To avoid losing patience in traffic I always make sure I have good music, something to drink and a snack with me. There really is nothing you can do if there was an accident or something causing a delay so it is healthier to relax.

  10. Jeanine says:

    This is great! I really need to work on my patience! Lately it’s been non existent!

  11. Patience has never been my strong point. It is something I pray about often.

  12. I’m starting to loose my patience a lot more these days. I am praying for same!

  13. K. Lee Banks says:

    Yes, patience is probably one of life’s most difficult lessons – but isn’t it ironic that we can’t develop patience without the struggles and trials that are necessary to help us develop patience? If everything always went along smoothly, exactly as we wanted them to, there would be no need for patience!

  14. Diane says:

    Terrific advice! One thing I’ve learned is to never pray for patience. Then you get opportunities to learn it. Sigh.

  15. Lana says:

    I’m not very patient. Maybe getting a little bit better as I get older. Taking a deep breath and waiting before I speak would serve me very well!

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