How to Develop Patience

Is the thought life’s too slow always at the back of your mind? Maybe you get frustrated when traffic is sluggish or you’re stuck in a queue at the supermarket?

The idea you could do something more productive gnaws at your psyche. The problem isn’t really about events outside of your control; it’s lack of patience that stresses you. Here’s how to relax and enjoy life’s pace without getting so anxious.


Stop rushing

You think you need to hustle when you’ll benefit from reducing your speed. Your heart pounds and panic rises when you rush. Such symptoms are uncomfortable. They signal you’re in fight-or-flight mode, a state reserved for moments of distress when you must consider survival.

Teach your system to reduce its pace by sending calming signals to your brain. Slow down, take deep breaths, and observe the way doing so creates balance in your body and mind. Note the difference between indicators of panic and peacefulness and you’ll find it easier to replicate calm.


Learn to enjoy waiting

If the mere idea of waiting makes the hairs on the back of your neck bristle, you need to practice relaxing. Research shows the ability to wait for rewards enhances your chances of meeting success and generates a sense of harmony.

Practice waiting via small steps. Put off eating your favorite dessert for ten minutes after your main meal or hold back rather than switch on the TV to view the soap opera you watch every night.

As a result, you’ll recognize waiting builds anticipation and makes rewards feel bigger than when you receive them immediately. You’ll come to enjoy building your appetite, whether it’s for freshly brewed coffee or a glance at a social media website you like to visit online, and your anxiety will decrease.


Stay in the moment

One of the main drawbacks of rushing is you live in the future. You’re a few steps ahead of the current moment and miss what’s happening now. Most likely, your thoughts about what will happen next create discomfort. Teach yourself to stay present and your stress level will drop because you’ll stop thinking about potential problems.

Aim to sit quietly, or take a gentle stroll and enjoy the present several times a day. Focus on your breath or your surroundings rather than think about what you will do later. If future-based thoughts arise pull your attention back to the moment.


Accept impatience

You might want to respond when impatience calls without recognizing you need not. Train your brain to accept your urge to rush and it will decrease as your patience grows.

Consider when an urge to make haste irritates you. Does it happen when people don’t explain what they want to say fast enough? Or maybe the need to rush occurs when you are aware you have a huge to do list.

Practice pausing rather than reacting at the times you identify you are impatient. Assert your power to hold back instead of hurrying. You’ll get comfortable with the experience of impatience and its hold over you will fade.


Lack of patience is stressful and increases unhappiness. Teach your brain to respond differently to life’s pace and your well-being will grow.