The Virtue of Patience For Your Mental Health | Ways to Build it
When we face any situation that we are not ideally prepared for we often tell ourselves to take a deep breath, hold our horses, be in control of ourselves, or calm down! Right?
Have you ever wondered why we give ourselves such commands? Well, because by establishing patience you stop stewing over the issues and start enjoying what life has to offer you! So are you ready to make the virtue of patience a part of your life? Let us begin our journey!
Mental Health Benefits of Patience
Patience is a predictor of our mental well-being. Those who can keep patience can enjoy mental health benefits. The best part is that the benefits of patience are backed with science.
- Long-term patience is found to bring relief to depression.
- Short-term patience is related to hedonic well-being.
- Patience is linked with higher levels of life satisfaction.
- By practicing patience one experiences lower levels of anxiety.
- With patience, one can put unhealthy emotions like anger, stress, frustration, and more at bay.
- It is through patience that you make smart decisions.
- Through patience, you learn to cultivate better relationships with those around you by being more empathetic and more forgiving.
How To Practice Patience In Your Life
Before we start with understanding the ways to practice patience, let us clear one thing- “Patience doesn’t mean you never feel frustrated.” Patience helps you deal with frustration and make allowances for it. While some of us are naturally more patient others might need to learn this virtue. Below we are sharing with you four ways to practice patience in your life and work on your mental health.
1. Recognize the Trigger
The biggest bummer in practicing patience is having triggers around you that breaks your zen and pushes you out of your patience zone. So, the first step towards practicing patience is identifying these triggers. By doing so, you will get a clear idea of the point where your patience is stuck at and you can further work on it. To make this happen, you can opt for either of the two options:
Self-assessment: Closely look at the situations that make you lose your patience and make a note of the same. Next time, when you encounter a similar situation just work on your physical signs by practicing the calming techniques that work best for you.
Review from others: Sometimes you might not even realize that you are going from the patience to the impatience zone. That’s when asking your loved and trusted ones to come to play. Go to them and simply ask what do they notice in you when you respond with impatience to any given situation. Mark their responses as your triggers and in your next encounter with them just pull out your “keep calm” tools!
To help you create better awareness, we are sharing with you some of the common physical signs that impatience triggers:
- Muscle tension.
- Anger and irritability.
- Feeling anxious or nervous.
- Clenched teeth or fists.
- Restlessness or jiggling of feet.
2. Ask the 5 WHYs
If you read about patience or impatience, the 5 Whys technique is sure to cross your way. By asking yourself 5 Whys you will be able to find the root cause behind your constant switch from patience to impatience. The 5 Whys technique is all about the 3 crucial steps. This includes:
Step-1 Define the Problem
Ask yourself what is the immediate problem or situation of impatience that you want to work upon. For better results, writing it down on a piece of paper is advised.
For example, I am losing my patience in this relationship.
Step-2 Ask the First “WHY?”
Now ask yourself WHY are you feeling this way? What is currently happening with you or around you has led to this problem.
For example, He is never listening to me. Whatever I have to say is not being paid attention to.Step-3 Follow-up with four more WHYs
There might be a reason why you are feeling this way. Keep asking why till you reach the root cause of the impatience experienced by you. It is only when you identify this root cause that you can start working on it.
For example: Not being heard is what frustrates me in this relationship.
3. Act Calm and Feel Calm
The first two ways of practicing the virtue of patience that we discussed above centered around identifying the cause of impatience in your life. Now we will be discussing the ways to work in an inpatient condition and regain your calm. Before we share the ways to make it work you have to accept your feelings. Are you feeling frustrated or agitated? Don’t hide them. Accept them and allow yourself to feel them. It is only when these emotions run in your body as energy that you will try to direct them in the calming zone, towards your way to enjoy patience.
The 4 best ways to act calm and feel calm for patience are:
Focus on your breath: Your breathing system is your body’s inbuilt air conditioner. Notice your breathing pattern every time you experience impatience, it will lose its sync. That is why focusing on your breath is a great way to bring every cell of your body to practice patience. As your breath gets to the normal rhythm you will cherish calmness.
Separate yourself from the situation: If you feel overwhelming emotions like anger and frustration taking control over you, just step back for a while. Separate yourself from the situation till the time your sane self is ready to take the charge of the same.
Bring out your DIY kit: Have you heard of mental health DIY kits? These kits are composed of elements that soothe your senses and promote mental wellness. So on your journey of learning patience create a DIY mental health kit for yourself and put it to use to keep impatience at bay.
4. Reframe the Situation
What is that one situation where you lose your patience at a snap? For me, it has to be waiting for someone! Even 1 minute up makes me lose my calm. So here is the trick that I have started to apply in this situation that leads to impatience in my life: I reframe the situation. In other words, I take out the impatience hat and wear a different hat. Let me simplify it for you, learn self-control to replace your impatience with.
Example: If my friend makes me wait I can choose either of the two things.
Option A: Fume about their lack of respect and time management.
Option B: Use these 15 minutes to do something productive (like reading, small gratitude activity).
Choosing option A will lead to impatience, and option B will teach you self-control and patience.
This is what reframing the situation is all about! Channelizing the energy of impatience to productive activity.
Do share with us in the comments section which situation are you going to replace with patience by reframing it. We would love to hear from you.
5. Work On Positive Growth Mindset
Having a positive growth mindset allows you to practice patience in your life. To know more about developing a positive growth mindset, read here.
Remember, Rome was not built in a day, and neither will your virtue of patience. It will take time! Give it some time and keep working towards developing patience. Just one step at a time and you will see yourself being a monk!
Need further assistance to work on your patience? Feel free to connect with us at email@example.com