We all could use these.
You run into the grocery store for a few items.
Hurriedly you make your way to the checkout line only to be stuck behind someone who slowly and methodically places his or her items on to the conveyer belt. Worse yet, the cashier seems to be moving in slow motion.
You look at your wristwatch as if somehow doing that will make things happen faster.
The truth is, you are being impatient and you know you shouldn’t be. It’s not any one else’s fault but your own. You ran into the store with limited time to spare, not them.
Most of us want to be more patient. In fact, a lot of us need to be more patient.
That’s easier said than done. In fact, patience cantake years to develop.
It’s true that some are naturally more patient than others, but let’s take a look at how we can develop that same ability.
Here are six effective strategies to build patience.
You may not realize it, but reading requires patience. For instance, you are reading a really great story. You have a goal to finish the book in a certain amount of time. Before you know it, you are thinking about what you are reading, not about whatever made you impatient.
Gain a different perspective
One of the biggest shifts in perspective you can have is to redirect your focus off of yourself and onto others. This can have incredible results. You experience a shift from fixating on yourself to focusing on others. Ultimately you are learning to be more patient.
There’s a woman I know who is about 85. She absolutely loves to work in her garden. When you drive down the street there’s no doubt that she took a lot of time in planning and planting her garden. Gardening requires patience and persistence. You might plant something that grows slowly. You might be anxious to see the fruits of your labor but you need patience. Gardening can also be therapeutic. As a matter of fact I have a friend who’s always working on his garden. He says it’s his therapy. It gets his mind off his health concerns. It’s also teaching him to be patient.
Cook from scratch
Anyone can put something into the microwave. But what about cooking from scratch? Not only will you develop some patience, you will eat healthier, the food will be tastier, and your family will be impressed.
Have you ever found yourself drawing? Maybe you are thinking about something while you are sitting there writing out your bills. Your mind wanders to something less stressful and the next thing you know you are drawing all kinds of shapes. Drawing requires a mental focus. This develops patience. If you do not know how to actual draw a landscape, dog or cat why not consider taking drawing lessons. It’s another way you can learn patience.
Learn how to play an instrument or a new language
Want to really learn patience? Take piano or guitar lessons. Any type of musical instrument will requite diligence and patience. The same holds true for learning a new language. It requires you to think about the end result. It might mean that now you can talk to your grandmother in her native tongue or communicate with others when you travel another country.
These are 6 relatively simple ways to try and improve your patience. You might want to focus on one or two, or give all of them a try. The key is to make up your mind to be more patient.
Yes, patience can be learned.
Originally published at medium.com