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Positive focus helps to increase patience

Updated on July 29, 2013

I want someone to talk too now!


Do you relate to these angry birds?


On hold

What do you think of when you hear the word patience? My first thought is there is something stressful that I need to control, focus away from the negative emotions that are building, so I can get through a particular situation. Do you have patience?

Here is how Wikipedia describes it:

Patience (or forbearing)i s the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.

But as you think of a deeper meaning, patience or impatience is simply how we see time. A patient person allows time; is comfortable with the time it takes for things to happen, whereas an impatient person can't wait for something to be done, there never is enough time. You may see yourself as having a lot of patience or not much at all, but patience can be acquired, it's really just a change in focus to get you through the situation.

We talk about stress a lot, it's a part of our everyday life, but it's our lack of patience that causes much of the stress we feel. Learning to identify when stress and anxiety are building and then look to the cause of it, is the first step. Once we realize what's happening we can learn to look at the situation differently which will then increase patience and reduce stress and anxiety.

My husband despises being put on hold when calling a business. It's not just being put on hold, but going through four or more prompts before he gets to the "on hold music" for which he will hold for another ten or twenty minutes more. He will either grumble about the wait time or finally hang up. In then end, either way, it just causes frustration and stress.

I used to dread going to a doctor. Not because of what I was seeing him for, but because I knew I'd have to wait a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour before I actually saw him. Patience only went so far. After about half an hour of waiting my stress started building and by the time he actually walked in the room and took my blood pressure......well, let's just say it wasn't a true read!

Make wait time YOUR time


When you're losing patience, change your focus

Re-adjusting your focus is the key to patience, always has been. Those with great patience don't look at the problem, they don't let it be a problem. They focus away from that which is giving them stress and anxiety to something that feels better.

There is a great saying which goes: When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.

Once I understood that meaning it was just a matter of looking at the situation differently. If my husband hung up the phone in frustration (he's getting better but he's more of an outdoor guy), I would call the business back. Here are ways I use that can help you too.

Although I would love to have someone to talk to right off the bat, businesses now use prompts as an effective and cheap way (eliminating a person to do the job) to get you the right person to talk to. So, accepting that this is how it's done you can go into the call with that perspective and reduce that part of impatience and stress. Another trick to try is hit zero when you get the prompts going. Many times it jumps you straight to a human voice (but not always). If that doesn't work then when the music starts you have one of two choices, be annoyed at the music you are forced to listen to (and would never listen to if you did have a choice), or use this time as an opportunity to do something else. Set the phone on speaker and then read the paper or browse the internet. Catch up on paper work or something similar that is quiet enough to hear when someone comes on the line, however, now you are using the wait time for what YOU want to do. That way impatience and stress disappear. By the time they answer the phone you'll want to say, "Can you hold please, I want to finish reading this great article I'm reading!"

Beauty is all around you just have to notice it


Positive thinking takes away impatience

Here are a few examples to put positive thinking into a negative situation.

Sitting in commuter traffic:

  • The obvious one...listen to your favorite music, but focus on it, not the stalled traffic
  • Enjoy and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings, we mostly ignore the beautiful scenery that we pass every day.
  • Listen to a audio'll be at your destination before you know it!
  • Buy a new language program like Rosetta Stone and become bi-lingual while you wait
  • Talk to a friend on your blue tooth

Waiting for an appointment:

  • If you know how to meditate, this is a great time to close your eyes and relax
  • Bring your favorite book or read a magazine that catches your eye at the office
  • Listen to your iPod or MP3 player (only plug one ear or you'll miss when they call you!)
  • Pull out your photo's and focus on the people and places you love

Who hasn't spilled milk?


Have fun with your kids


Young families, you're going to miss this

There is a great song by Trace Adkins called "You're going to to miss this." It talks about how time is fleeting and I tear up every time I hear it. As a mother of three grown children and grandmother to three more, I know all too well how fast time flies by.

I also know how stressful it is raising a young family. With the majority of parents working outside the home, trying to meet all demands is daunting, patience runs thin. But here is some sage advise for those who find stress rising when the kids are fighting, the milk is spilling, the car got a flat on the way home and you just remembered you have no dog food for your dog Sam.....listen to Trace's song. Keep it close, download it onto you iPod and when you feel overwhelmed play it. It will definitely put things in perspective.

Don't miss a chance to praise your children. Take pictures and movies of them often and take the time to play with them. Nothing passes faster then their childhood and nothing is more precious! Remember when things seem too much to handle..this too WILL pass. There is no reason to cry over spilled milk, accidents happen, the flat tire is an easy fix, Sam can have your left-overs tonight for his dinner. Now it's time for positive focus and love for your kids, nothing else matters as much and once you do you'll know patience is just a new way of looking at things.

Which area of your life do you need more patience

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      it is not easy to maintain a good patience especially in this chaotic market. Time is money. So, we need to learn how to control our patience in order to succeed. Voted up

    • New Understanding profile image

      New Understanding 4 years ago from Northern California

      That's just it peachpurple, we can practice patience by just holding in our frustration or find a positive way to look at the situation in which stress can be greatly reduced. Thanks for your comment!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      When my children were young, I was always looking forward to the time when they would grow up. Now that they are grown and gone, my patience problems are centered in my working world. It seems that patience is something we have to work on regularly. Once we have it in one area, it crops up as a problem in another! Right now, I am waiting for a phone call - but thanks to your article, I am doing some reading in the mean time!

    • New Understanding profile image

      New Understanding 4 years ago from Northern California

      You're welcome Denise. Thanks for your comment.

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Good article on anger management. Voted up.

    • New Understanding profile image

      New Understanding 4 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks jabelufiroz, I've experienced people with road rage as well as plenty of short tempers at work, grocery store etc., due to impatience so if people can find a way to look at things a bit differently, that's my goal with this article :)

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