Do you explode easily and blurt offensive words whenever someone makes you wait for a long time? Are you so hot-tempered that everyone would immediately leave your side whenever you are triggered? Or are you the kind of person who wants instant gratification, like instant noodles or fast-food?
Being impatient can cause you troubles. It may lead to damaged relationships, tarnished reputation, and impulsive decisions that you might regret later. For this reason, if you are struggling to control your patience and temper, you need to do something about it.
Here are 14 helpful ways to be a more patient person:
1. Stop checking the time.
Whenever you are running late or you are meeting a slowpoke, control yourself from checking your wristwatch every minute. The more you do it, the more you grow impatient. Just do your best to get to your destination as soon as possible, or make something productive with your time while the person you are waiting for is on the way. By doing so, you save yourself from hypertension and bad mood.
2. Avoid multi-tasking.
Sometimes, we multitask because we hope to finish several tasks simultaneously. However, this is a poor strategy because the lack of focus on each task will result in low output quality and slower progress for each since your attention is divided. The best method is doing one thing at a time with full concentration and speed.
3. Learn to manage your time well.
Poor time management may cause you to cram—which can highly trigger impatience. For instance, you may be so angry at the heavy traffic flow because you were already late, but you could have actually left your house earlier to avoid this daily road hassle. Or you got enraged because you remembered you got a term paper due for the next day but you forgot to work on it.
4. Always travel or finish things ahead of time.
In connection with the previous number, it is advisable if you always give a time allowance for all your activities to avoid delays and cramming. By making it a habit to arrive an hour before your appointment, you save yourself from traffic stress and you get enough time to prepare yourself. Finishing your projects at least a week before the deadline will also save you from cramming pressure.
5. Learn to slow down.
If you are always in a hurry, you tend to expect everything to be in fast forward mode too, and you become impatient with people who do not move according to your pace. For a more relaxed lifestyle, try walking slowly when in the mall or park with your loved ones—savoring the bonding moment and the beauty of the surroundings. Also, if you have no appointment for the day, why not take time to sip your coffee while reading the morning papers?
6. Take a deep breath.
Whenever you feel like screaming because of impatience, try taking deep breaths. This will help you to calm down and hold your temper more. You can also leave the scene for a few minutes to breathe fresh air and see some greens.
7. Keep yourself busy while waiting.
Another way to overcome impatience is by diverting your attention to something else while waiting for someone/something. For instance, if you are waiting for your date and you know s/he is always late, then bring a book with you or watch a movie on your phone. By keeping yourself entertained, you would not notice the passing of time.
8. Shut your mouth up when you are angry.
To avoid blurting out anything that you might regret later, control yourself from saying anything when you are at the height of anger. It is alright to inform the person how you feel so that at least s/he knows you are not in a good mood. Tell him/her to give you space for the moment and just talk to you once you have already calmed down.
9. Leave if you are about to explode.
If you cannot control yourself—or the other person—from saying anything tactless, then it is better to excuse yourself for a while. It may seem rude, but it will be ruder if you face the issue while you are hot-tempered. This way, you can avoid fiery confrontations and ruining relationships.
10. Practice waiting game.
Another way to practice patience is by playing the waiting game. This is intentionally delaying one thing that you are waiting for. An example would be trying to hold back from eating your favorite sundae for as long as you can. Or you can also make it a rule to clean your room first before watching your favorite TV series.
11. Manage your responses.
To be a patient person, you need to be aware of your tendencies whenever you are growing impatient. Then, you have to consciously manage how you will respond to triggering situations. For instance, you should decide to stop talking whenever you cannot control your mouth from talking nasty anymore.
12. Learn to listen first.
Before yelling at someone for coming late or making mistakes at work, take time to ask for the reason first. You may not know that s/he has a valid reason for it or s/he could be going through something tough. Being more understanding towards someone could sometimes mean a lot to the person.
13. Avoid instant gratification.
Doing # 10 can help you achieve this. Being used to all instants would definitely make you an impatient person—and this is not healthy. You can start by going to the mall instead of checking online shops when buying something. Or you can resolve to cook fresh meals instead of just eating canned goods or having a pizza delivered.
14. Do not compromise quality with speed.
Impatience could make you rush to the point of sacrificing the quality of what you are doing or waiting for. Instill in your mind that you will never settle for less even if it may take more time to wait. For example, if you are a supervisor, then do not accept a haphazardly done report from your subordinate just because you want the deadline met. Excellence should always be your top priority.
Patience Will Keep You Healthy
Impatience will make you more prone to stress, hypertension, stroke, and heart attack. If you have a problem with your temper, then it is time to consider taming it for your own health’s sake. On the other hand, being patient will help you to be relaxed and stress-free, which are good for the heart and soul.