Patience Is Not About Waiting, It Is About Your Attitude While You Wait.
Sometimes I want what I want when I want it. Who doesn't?
What exactly does it mean to wait? A lot of us think it is simply letting the time pass by, perhaps even killing time to make it go by faster. But we all know that time has only one speed, and it never changes. Waiting is a part of life, not everything will be on our time, nor will it flow the way we please. So we could spend it trying to change what we do not like, or make the best of it. What it means to be patient is about how we handle the time we are given. Some of us let it slip through our fingers, while others utilize every minute. How will you spend your time?
I used to hate waiting, the empty time slipping away would drive me insane. I was a very fast paced individual and still am when I need to be, but I have learned to slow down. That skill has changed my life drastically, and I would never want to go back. I would get so anxious having to wait just 20 minutes or more, or I would need to be doing something. I was fidgety and got very irritable, because I let the emotion take over. Recently I have learned what it truly means to just be patient.
It all starts with getting a right mindset. As I have written before my journey for that has happened along time ago and is still in effect everyday. I cannot speak for anyone else but I will tell my story and hope that you pick something up from it.
After I got back to my current job, I am learning more and more what it means to be patient. Which is honestly just piggy-backing off of what I already learned. Once I got over the fact that everything happens in due time and not everything is fast paced, my life began to change. This is still a very new skill for me, but I am being patient in learning patience. Every day is a new day.
Alright let's get to the beef of the article here, step one for me is breathing. Always breathing! I count and I breath deeply. That works wonders without even realizing it and it can help with every aspect of life.I literally take a step back and count to 5 as I breath in and 5 as I exhale. Then I keep adding a second each time until my heart rate has dropped to normal. I understand this is basic, but sometimes we have to refer back to the basics. If I have to, I will close my eyes while I do this. Secondly, I throw in some mindfulness skills. I personally enjoy feeling things, I will have an item like a pen in my hand and just feel it or fiddle with it. Also, Focusing on the parts of my body touching the chair or my feet as I stand. Or feeling my pants, really anything I can touch. As I have mentioned before my motto is "DISTRACT, RELAX and COPE" and if you have read my previous articles I talk about this a lot. I talk about it because it is important, this breathing stage is the relaxing stage. But wait... what about distraction? Yes, the present emotion is too intense to just start relaxing, so I must distract myself. So let us say that I get impatient (since we are talking about patience) the radiation emotion is anxiety, why? Because I am not getting what I want. So a whole string of emotions could follow. If I give into the emotions that could lead to an action that is regrettable. But we are not talking about giving into emotions, we are talking about defeating them. So how does one defeat an overwhelming emotion of anxiety? Which in turn could bring on physiological signs like heavy breathing, sweating, rapid heart beat and tunnel vision. (Do not forget, this feeling originally radiated from being impatient which is not technically an emotion).
First things first, I need to distract myself from the anxiety or I will be unable to think logically. My brain will get all fogged up and I will spiral out of control. This is when the counting comes in. I start with the 5 second inhale and exhale, then I start counting backwards from 100. This gets my mind off of what I am thinking and makes me focus on the numbers. (I do it backwards because it's harder and it makes me think). I also enjoy listening to all the sounds around me. So now that I am distracting myself counting backwards from 100 and hearing every noise, my breathing automatically slows down because I am focusing on something other then my racing, illogical, automatic thoughts. By the time I reach 30 I am calm but I complete it all the way to get the full effect. While I do this I replace the automatic thoughts (if they are negative) with one of my simple phrases. For this I use "feelings are not facts," "not everything is what is seems," Or simply "Let it go." These have worked wonders. I do this for however long it takes.
Now that I am good and relaxed, all the blood in my brain is flowing normal and I am able to think. I advance to the impatience that I am feeling. For this I like to say things like "everything happens for a reason," but it also depends on the situation. If the thing I am being impatient about is not anything I have control over, then I have no choice but to accept the fact that I cannot change it. This is harsh because I think there is always something that can be done. Sometimes there is just nothing but being patient. After realizing this everything is simple from here on out. Unless I let myself worry then I have to go back to step one. But from here on out it is all about LETTING GO.
So we have learned some skills to help with patience. I hope that you pick up what I do and it can help you like it helped me. Find what works for you. I encourage you to learn patience because nothing in life comes easy and good things are worth waiting for. So what will you do? Waste precious minutes wishing what could be, or accepting what is and making the most of it? The choice is yours.