7 Tips for developing Patience: Yes, You’ll Need to Practice!

Patience is a virtue, they say, but it’s not always easy to put into practice. We all struggle with impatience at times, whether it’s waiting in line, dealing with a difficult situation, or eagerly anticipating that exciting event that’s happening soon.

Developing patience is a skill that takes time, effort, and practice, it doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s a skill that’s worth cultivating, and worth waiting for.

“The purpose of practising patience is to have immediate peace and happiness within you. That moment when you don’t get angry means you don’t harm yourself, you don’t cause yourself unhappiness. When the mind becomes negative, it is like a bomb inside you.”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, FDCW’s Honorary President

Tip 1: Stay calm, take a breath: Try mindfulness practices

developing patience | FDCW

So how can we develop patience? Is it as easy as taking a few deep breaths and coming back to the current moment?

To become a more patient person, a good place to start can be to work on your mindfulness skills. Mindfulness can be defined as the ability to remember, or hold, an object in the mind.

It is a quality of the mind that has been studied for millennia in many contemplative schools, and has only more recently come into the limelight in the West.

It’s a quality of the mind that is immensely powerful and has been subject to rigorous investigation… and, the good news is, it can be developed through training.

Mindfulness is a powerful tool to develop patience because it helps you stay calm and focused, even in difficult situations.

When you’re mindful of an object, whether that be bodily sensations, emotions as they arise, or even the breath, for example, you’re less likely to react impulsively or become agitated.

Mindfulness also helps you to work on self control and gives you the space to understand your own impatience triggers.

A simple mindfulness practice

One simple way to develop mindfulness, is to start by focusing on your breath. Take a few deep breaths and focus on the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body.

Mindfulness, as we discussed earlier, is the ability to remember our object of focus, the remembering itself.

A deep breath can be a useful tool to engage our focus, especially when we feel stressed. Should any thoughts or emotions arise, don’t judge or react to them.

Simply bring your attention back to your breath, remember your object of focus. With practice, you’ll find it easier to stay present and calm, even in challenging situations.

Where can I learn more about mindfulness?

If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness and meditation practices, you can find guided meditations on FDCW’s meditation page here.

Tip 2: Listening skills are key: Practice empathy

Practicing empathy is another valuable strategy. Empathy helps you to understand and relate to the experiences of others, which can help you to respond with greater compassion and understanding (to better understand the difference between empathy and compassion you can read this article “What is Compassion”).

To cultivate empathy, a good place to start can be by engaging in active listening and a good place to try this out can be at home, with our family members. This actually means more than just hearing what people say, it means paying attention to their body language, tone of voice, and the content of their message.

When someone is speaking to you, try to really hear what they are saying and reflect on how they might be feeling.

If you notice yourself feeling rushed or losing patience when in conversation, focusing on being a good listener can help to slow you down, calm your emotional symptoms and open you to new ideas and perspectives.

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

HH the 14th Dalai Lama, FDCW’s Patron

Another way to work on developing empathic tendencies is to seek to understand before being understood. When someone presents an idea or point of view that is different from your own, take a step back and try to understand their perspective.

Ask questions and listen to their answers before responding. In this way, you can approach situations with a more open and compassionate mindset, which can help you improve patience and become a more patient person.

Incorporating this into your daily life takes practice, but it’s a skill that can be developed over time and an essential tool to overcome habits of waiting with impatience.

By taking the time to hear what others say, seeking common ground, and being willing to understand different perspectives, you can build your capacity for it and respond to situations with greater patience and understanding.

A study on Empathy

A study published by Masten and colleagues examined the factors that contribute to resilience in individuals who experienced significant adversity in childhood.

The study found that individuals who exhibited resilience had a range of protective factors, such as positive relationships with caring adults, opportunities for engagement in school or community activities, and a sense of purpose or belief in a higher power.

This study highlights the importance of protective factors in developing resilience, and suggests that individuals can cultivate greater resilience by focusing on building positive relationships, engaging in meaningful activities, and developing a sense of purpose or belief in something greater than themselves.

This example shows that by incorporating these protective factors into their lives, individuals can become more resilient and better equipped to navigate the challenges and obstacles they may face.

Tip 3: Face difficulties with openness: Master resilience

One way to develop greater long term patience is to cultivate resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and adapt to changes.

“Resilience is about being able to face your life’s difficulties with a sense of openness, curiosity, and exploration. It means embracing the ups and downs of life as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than as obstacles to be overcome. By cultivating a strong inner foundation based on wisdom, compassion, and a sense of purpose, we can weather the storms of life with grace and equanimity. Through each challenge, we have the opportunity to develop our inner resilience and deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.”

Ven. Robina Courtin, Buddhist nun and teacher

By building resilience, you can maintain a positive outlook and remain motivated in the face of challenges, no matter what comes up.

To develop resilience, try reframing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning – this can also be a great way to combat stress.

When you recognize that you’re stuck in a certain way of thinking, imagine what other possible outcomes would be possible in the long run.

When you encounter a setback, ask yourself what you can learn from the experience and how you can use it to become stronger in the future.

Practice self care

Another way to build resilience is to practice self-care. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally can help you maintain a positive outlook and feel better equipped to handle certain situations.

Some tips for practicing self-care include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in regular exercise or other physical activities.

Additionally, it’s important to take breaks when you need them. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, one task you can do is to take a few minutes and step away from the situation and do something that helps you relax and recharge.

Give the stress and the stress hormones a chance to pass of their own accord. By developing greater resilience, you can approach challenges with a positive attitude and maintain your patience even in daily hassles and difficult situations, where before you would have reacted with impatience.

The Power of Resiliency

If you’re interested in exploring resiliency further, watch this 1 hour video, “The Power of Resiliency” by Ceci Buzón, an FDCW facilitator. Ceci Buzón holds a Diploma in Neuropsychoeducation from University of Buenos Aires. In 2015, she received a scholarship from Greater Good Science Centre to study there at University of California in Berkeley. She also studied emotional education for trauma and resiliency at University of Buenos Aires.

Ceci’s engaging style really helps to break down resiliency and explain the how we can use resiliency in our daily lives. Watch the video here.

Tip 4: Focus on the positives: Cultivate gratitude

Gratitude is the practice of focusing on the positive things in your life and being thankful for them. When you’re grateful, you’re less likely to become impatient or frustrated because you’re focusing on what you have, rather than what you don’t have.

Being grateful for and rejoicing in what we have can help us to develop more patience and this, in turn, can help us to cultivate a more stable happiness.

We’re often encouraged to be impatient and seek instant gratification – we want everything, now, no time for waiting.

Many of us spend so much of our busy lives looking for instant gratification and quick wins as a source of happiness, impatience is rife.

When, the fact of the matter is, putting aside the quick wins and being open to whatever may happen, whether this be some form of delayed gratification or none at all, can often lead to a better outcome and a far more stable form of happiness as a result.

What are you thankful for?

In order to become a more grateful person, you can take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re thankful for. It could be something as simple as a warm bed to sleep in, a good meal, or a supportive friend or family member.

By focusing on the positive things in your life, you’ll be less likely to become impatient or frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Being grateful is a simple, yet powerful remedy to impatience.

Tip 5: Take your time: Slow down

Developing greater patience requires taking the time to slow down and approach situations with greater mindfulness and awareness. Rushing through our lives can lead to impatience and frustration, which can impact our relationships and well-being.

By taking a step back in the present moment, reflecting, and focusing on our thoughts and emotions, we can become more patient and respond with greater clarity and purpose.

To slow down and become a more patient person, you can try practicing mindfulness meditation and deep breathing exercises.

These techniques can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase focus and awareness.

Additionally, taking a break from technology can help us to disconnect from distractions and cultivate greater self-awareness.

Spending time in nature, taking a walk, or simply sitting in silence for a few minutes can help us to slow down, approach situations with greater clarity and become more patient.

Step back and reflect

When facing a situation that triggers impatience, take a step back and reflect before reacting.

By considering the perspective of others and focusing on your thoughts and emotions, you can respond with greater clarity, compassion, and patience, rather than reacting with frustration or anger.

By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can cultivate patience, mindfulness, and resilience, improving your well-being and relationships with others.

Tip 6: Less expectation: Set realistic goals

One of the reasons we feel impatient is because we have unrealistic goals and expectations. We want things to happen quickly, or we expect others to behave in a certain way.

When things don’t go as we expect, we become frustrated and impatient. To develop more patience, it can be important to set realistic expectations.

For example, if you’re working on a project, set realistic goals and deadlines for yourself, if this is a long term goal, that’s completely fine. Don’t try to do everything at once or expect to complete the project in record time.

Break the project down into smaller, manageable tasks and set realistic deadlines for each task. This will help you stay focused and motivated, and you’ll be less likely to become impatient if things don’t go as planned.

These techniques can be applied to both goals for personal growth and career goals and can be a useful step on the path to becoming a more patient person.

Tip 7: Practice makes perfect: Practice patience every day

If you want to increase patience it requires consistent practice, just like any other skill or habit.

By practicing some of the tips discussed in this article every day, we can cultivate greater resilience, compassion, and understanding, which are all key components of developing a patient mindset.

This can help us to approach challenges with greater calm and purpose, rather than simply reacting with impatience or frustration.

To practice patience every day, consider incorporating daily affirmations into your routine. These positive statements can help to reinforce a patient and compassionate mindset, and remind you of your goals and values.

Additionally, the practice of being grateful can help to cultivate a sense of appreciation for the present moment, and reduce the tendency to become impatient or reactive.

Other ways to practice patience include setting small, achievable goals and celebrating progress along the way. This can help to build momentum and maintain motivation, even in the face of challenges or setbacks.

Taking a few minutes each day to reflect on your thoughts and emotions can help to cultivate greater self-awareness, and build the skills and habits necessary to become more patient.

By practicing every day, we can grow greater resilience, mindfulness, and compassion, which can lead to greater well-being and more fulfilling relationships with others. With consistency and dedication, anyone can cultivate greater patience and approach life’s challenges with greater calm, purpose, and understanding.

Conclusion

In conclusion, patience is an essential tool for improving our well-being and building resilience when faced with life’s challenges. We can become a more patient person by practicing mindfulness, reflecting on our thoughts and emotions, and incorporating patience into our daily lives.

By doing so, we can encourage the necessary skills and habits for responding to difficulties with clarity, compassion, and purpose.

While developing patience may seem challenging, it is a skill that can be learned and honed with consistent effort and dedication.

By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, we can build greater resilience, improve our relationships with others, and achieve our personal and professional goals.

If you want to become a more compassionate, understanding, and resilient person, try incorporating these strategies into your daily routine.

With time and effort, you can cultivate the skills and habits necessary for responding to whatever challenges life throws at us, with greater patience and purpose, leading to a more fulfilling and contented life.

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned to FDCW’s blog for more tips in the future and be sure to sign up to our newsletter so you don’t miss these posts.


Interested in the 16 guidelines?

Are you interested in learning more about the 16 guidelines?
If so check out 16 Guidelines For Life by Alison Murdoch and Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw.

The book was first published in this edition in 2009 and is now available asan ebook. Since the first 16 Guidelines book was published, it has inspired a range of practical projects – in schools, colleges, businesses, healthcare organisations, drug rehabilitation centres and prisons – around the globe.

The book provides a comprehensive introduction to the 16 Guidelines and the four Wisdom Themes with thought-provoking interpretations, role models and guided reflections.

It is an ideal companion resource for anyone with an interest in universal ethical values as represented by the 16 Guidelines. The download also includes a printable version of the 16G cards.


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Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW)

At FDCW we are committed to a more compassionate, wiser world. We provide resources, courses and training to develop qualities such as kindness, patience and courage – qualities which are essential for meeting the challenges of the world we all share.

The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW) was established as a global charity based in London in 2005. Since then we have provided secular training, programmes and resources across many sectors of society – schools, universities, hospices, workplaces, healthcare, youth groups and community centres. Our courses have reached thousands of people across the world through our dedicated and growing network of facilitators in more than 20 countries.

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