Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out. If you’d like to reduce stress and become calm and cool, put the following 8 steps into practice to be more patient.
1. Let go.
This thing that seems like the end of the world right now? It’s not (promise). Stressing out about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.
The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:
- Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
- Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
- Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.
Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.
3. Loosen up.
After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense (Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?). Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation (it might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example).
4. Chew slowly.
Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache). Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish. Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work (click here for more information).
5. Enjoy the journey.
Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.
6. Look at the big picture.
The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:
Will this matter to me…
- Next week?
- Next month?
- Next year?
- In 10 years?
Hint: No, it won’t. I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week (maybe not even the next day). Stop agonizing over things you can’t control, because you’re only hurting yourself.
7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself.
You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar. Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out, because it just isn’t possible.
8. Practice patience every day.
Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in the face of stress:
- The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
- Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
- Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.
If you’d like to help your friends learn how to be more patient, pass this along so they can be calm and cool just like you. What helps you manage stress? Tell us in the comments.