Are you stressed out? Does your stress levels have anything to do with the lack of patience? I confess, my stress levels are in large part due to my impatience. I’m tired of bad manners and bad behavior. I’m tired of people doing horrible things to one another—again. 2018 has been a year of frustration rolled up into one humongous rubber ball of stress. It’s been my frustration vs. my patience, which will win?
Patience you must have, my young padawan. Yoda (Star Wars)
Never put passion before principle, even if you win, you’ll lose. Mr. Miyagi (Karate Kid)
What is patience?
According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary it’s the capacity to bear opposition, difficulty or adversity calmly and without complaint. Experts differ in what to call patience. It’s a tool, a skill, an attitude, a genetic inclination, and a nurtured ability. It may not be easy to define or label but we all know when we have it…and when we don’t.
The problem with Yoda and Mr. Miyagi’s advice, the problem with patience, is that frustration is a fact of life. It will happen, on a daily basis. Something isn’t happening fast enough, or the “right” way or the change that’s needed isn’t happening at all. The average American adult now has an attention span of 8 seconds, according to the polymath project. Everyday you hear about the “overnight success” of someone. You push a button to order whatever you want that for the right price can be at your home in hours. It’s no wonder we’re losing our patience. And if something doesn’t happen in 8 seconds—we’re frustrated. The frustration builds because in real life very little happens in eight seconds. It can be overwhelming.
Without patience, you turn into your own worst taskmaster. Judith Orloff M.D.
The doctor is right. Allowing oneself to sit alone with frustration can lead to anger, low self-esteem, and the inability to act.
How to Deal with Frustration
First you need to recognize that you’re frustrated. That something you want isn’t going your way. Symptoms are
My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration: set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, cry, rant, and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual. Phyllis Diller
If you so choose, every mistake can lead to greater understanding and effectiveness. If you so choose, every frustration can help you to be more patient and more persistent. Ralph Marston
I love these quotes, don’t you? Read more quotes at brainyquote.com.
Benefits of Patience
What are the benefits of patience? Imagine if Michelangelo was too impatient to paint the Sistine Chapel? Or Tolkien wasn’t patient enough to finish his epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings? Great art can be one benefit of patience but there are more. Those who have mastered patience typically have high self-esteem, better grades, better confidence, more self-control, and better interpersonal skills. Who doesn’t want all those things?
Develop Your Patience Muscle
So what if you want to choose to turn frustration into more patience and persistence? Develop your “muscles.” Ways to practice patience include:
- Practice deep breathing and or meditation
- Bake goodies (you have to wait through preparation and cooking to eat them)
- Growing Caterpillars (in time they become butterflies)
- Learn or practice an Art (it doesn’t have to take 20 years but it does take time)
- Grow a garden
- Learn a new skill.
- Go to a museum, glance at a painting. Write down what you see and think and feel as a result. Now, spend an hour looking at that painting. Now, what do you see?
Read this article to learn more ways on how to have patience.
Patience is the companion of wisdom. St. Augustine
All good things come to he who waits. Proverb
Next time you’re huffing when the elevator stops on every floor, tapping your toe while you wait, spitting out an irritated comeback, stop. Try this saying this: it’s my frustration vs. my patience, who will win? It’s not easy. Today, my patience won but it doesn’t always. How about you? Which one won in your latest adventure?