Imagine being stuck in a major traffic jam on a highway with people constantly honking and sirens that make you feel even more angry and frustrated. Think about how that anger and frustration serve you at that moment. Except for ruining your mood and inner peace and draining your energy, the reality is that it does nothing to improve the situation. This anger and frustration would then be carried forward to where ever you go next and whoever you talk to next. To avoid creating this vicious cycle, you could try teaching patience.
What is Patience?
We often hear phrases like: “Good things come to those who wait.” and “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” This is because patience is an essential virtue that everyone must possess. Patience refers to endurance or tolerance and the ability to calmly wait in the face of adversity or distress. A patient person can make calm and rational decisions, achieve their goals and improve their health & overall mental well-being.
How Patience Impacts Our Emotions
To understand how patience impacts our emotions, we must also understand the concept of emotional well-being. As defined in their research by Dr Sabri & Dr Clark in 2018, emotional well-being is a positive state of one’s emotions, life satisfaction, sense of meaning and purpose and ability to pursue self-defined goals. Elements of emotional well-being include a sense of balance in feelings, thoughts, social relationships and pursuits. Emotional well-being also consists of being aware of your emotions, accepting them and managing them effectively.
The only way to improve our emotional well-being is to be patient with ourselves. Understanding and accepting ourselves and our emotions won’t happen overnight, and it is a won’t that will continue throughout our lives. Being able to manage our feelings is a task which requires a lot of patience and practice.
Patience and Emotional Intelligence
It is also essential to understand the emotions of others. When we are patient, we can pause and respond instead of reacting to something instantaneously, thereby avoiding the probability of making the situation worse. This improves our intra-personal and interpersonal relationships and helps foster positive emotions in ourselves and others. These are qualities of people with high emotional intelligence.
Having patience can also act as a barrier against stress. Emotional wellness also includes being optimistic and having high self-esteem and self-acceptance. Patience makes us more resilient and helps us to hold on a little longer and persevere. This helps us work harder and achieve our goals, improving our self-confidence and self-esteem. A simple example could be that it would require persistent practice and patience if you want to learn to play the guitar. And when you know that skill and achieve the goal you set for yourself, you’ll feel more positive about yourself and have positive you’ll, consequently improve your emotional well-being.
How Lack of Patience Leads to Emotional Health Problems
While this statement might make many feel that this is an exaggeration of the situation, in reality, impatience can lead to several mental health issues starting from anxiety.
Daniel Baugher, Dean of Graduate Programs at Pace University in New York, says, “Being impatient could cause anxiety & hostility…and if you’re constantly an”ious, your sleep could be affected too.”
Thus, it is evidyou’reat a lack of patience could lead to mental health cond”tions like anxiety, insomnia and panic attacks. It could also be the number one cause of physiological health conditions like stress, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and even weight gain. Patience is much more than just a virtue that was taught to be practised by our elders.
How to Be a More Patient Person
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “To lose patience is to lose the battle.” So how do we instil in ourselves the pertinent virtue of patience? “ere are a few ways you can be a more”patient person:
- Practice Mindfulness
It is the practice of being aware of our thoughts and emotions by observing them instead of judging or putting labels on them.
- Take a Breathing Break
Take a minute and focus on your breathing without thinking about anything else. It’ll help you calm down and relax.
- Re-Frame the Situation
Hold on before you react to a particular situation and try to look at it frIt’lldifferent perspective by considering the bigger picture. Things might not be as bad as you think.
- Make Peace with the Situation
Some things in life will always be out of your control, and we can only push forward and find ways to deal with something better.
- Distract Yourself
Just as you can be more patient by making peace with your current predicament, as mentioned above, you could try distracting yourself from the current situation if you’re feeling impatient. If stuck in traffic, put on your favourite tune or a podcast and make the most of your time. You may also observe other vyou’res around you, the sceneyou’ree sky, billboards or anything you like. The goal is to try to distract yourself from what is causing you to be impatient in the first place.
Remember, a little patience can help keep a lot of physical & mental ailments at bay.