Patience is something we can all afford to work on. Not just because patience is a virtue and so we should avoid impatience, but because we can negatively affect relationships with others and our own happiness when we are impatient.
This week, we also hear feedback from listener Aubrey who appreciated our recent show about talking to your kids about tough moral topics. Thank you, Aubrey!
Is patience a struggle for you? Join the club! Here are five ways I suggest that can help you become more patient.
Find out the cause.
Figure out what your triggers are and then work on changing your approach to those people and those situations that lead you to impatience. Are you stressed? Are you multitasking? Are you running late? Are you tired? Figure out the cause of your impatience so you can work on addressing the problem at its cause.
Fasting is a spiritual practice that can help you to grow in patience. I have been experimenting with spiritual fasting this Lent and have been surprised to find that it truly helps me to be more calm and patient even in frustrating situations. Fasting helps to quiet your focus on yourself and constant seeking of immediate gratification.
Do you ever pray for the virtue of patience? Try praying before your day even starts, asking for help in those situations that you know will try your patience. Also, you can pray for those people who make you impatient. This can help change your focus away from yourself and toward others’ perspectives.
We’ve talked about the importance of remembering to breathe when we discussed stress on the show before. When you get stressed, you naturally begin to breathe more shallow breaths, which can increase your feelings of stress. Pause to breathe when you start to feel impatient. It’s a great way to hit your inner “pause” button, remember to pray, and assess the situation fairly.
Use the word “YET”
This is a fun little trick to help you remember to be more positive and less frustrated in your everyday thoughts. When you think of something negative, try adding the word “yet” at the end of your thought:
- “Jamie hasn’t taken out the garbage … yet.”
- “I don’t understand this math problem … yet.”
Adding yet switches your focus from negative assumptions to positive and optimistic thoughts. Try it!