Four Tips to Help You Become More Patient

In the world of the immediate, patience can make all the difference. Indeed, those who know how to wait, usually find they have a wider range of choices. Furthermore, they're appreciated by others for their ability to convey calmness.
Four Tips to Help You Become More Patient

Last update: 17 October, 2021

No doubt you’ve found yourself losing your patience at some time or another. It happens to everyone. After all, you’re only human, hence you have certain limits. However, some people suffer excessively when their uncertainty increases. In other words, they have little or no patience. If this sounds like you, you may well want to learn how to become more patient.

As a matter of fact, developing the ability to wait and endure ambiguity is one of the keys to well-being. On the other hand, those who are impatient often experience emotional and physical problems.

In this article, you’ll learn some of the keys to becoming more patient and tolerant.

Why is it important to be more patient?

The Oxford Dictionary defines patience as ‘the ability to stay calm and accept a delay or something annoying without complaining’. However, there are many situations in everyday life that can put your patience to the test. Take, for example, waiting in a traffic jam. In this scenario, you’re surrounded by a lot of people who, like you, just want to move forward.

In this type of situation, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to become impatient. As a matter of fact, you might experience great frustration, anger, anxiety, or anguish. Furthermore, you may even be tempted to perform certain risky maneuvers in order to try and buy yourself some time or increase your feelings of control over the situation. Therefore, as you can see, the emotional explosion of impatience rarely helps. On the contrary, it can cause accidents.

Consequently, it’s easy to see the importance of knowing how to be more patient, as it relates to calmness. Indeed, those who wait patiently experience less stress, anxiety, or frustration. This, in turn, contributes to their well-being.

Woman screaming in the car

Four tips to help you to be more patient

Impatience is related to certain behaviors that can affect your health. In 2011, Reach et al published a study in which they evaluated the influence of patience on adherence to treatment among diabetic patients. In their findings, the authors explained that impatience was positively associated with poor adherence to treatment.

For this reason, it’s possible to say that impatience can lead people to make risky decisions for their health. Let’s go back to the traffic example for a moment. In this scenario, if someone suddenly exceeded the speed limit because they were in a hurry, it could cause an accident.

In addition, having patience and tolerating uncertainty are polite ways of behaving. Let’s take a look at the four tips to help you become more patient.

1. Accept uncertainty as part of life

The first step toward becoming a more patient person involves learning to accept the uncertainty inherent in the act of living. As a matter of fact, there are very few things in the world that you can have absolute control over, and denying this makes you frustrated. Indeed, believing that it’s possible to control variables such as the behavior of others, the weather, or other factors is an illusion.

In the end, the reality is completely different, and if you deceive yourself into believing that you’re in control of everything, you’ll only end up feeling bad. Instead, you need to understand that life is unpredictable. Adopting this attitude will help you better adapt to any unforeseen situations.

2. Learn to take advantage of waiting

Another recommendation for improving your patience is in knowing how to take advantage of your waiting time. Imagine that you’re in the doctor’s waiting room. In this situation, what would you do with your time?

Well, you could take advantage of it and send that email you’ve been putting off, plan the house renovations you’re to carry out shortly, or read one of the magazines that are usually available.

In other words, you can perform actions that distance you from the feeling that you’re wasting your time.

3. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique derived from meditation that aims, in some way, to connect you with the present, with what’s happening in the here and now. Remember that impatience is associated with anxiety about an uncertain future.

Consequently, increasing concentration in the present moment can be helpful in reducing your distress. You can immerse yourself in this world on your own or you can seek the help of a professional.

Man doing mindfulness

4. Breathing and relaxation exercises

The stress of waiting can often translate into physiological tension. Therefore, it’s a good idea to practice muscle relaxation and breathing techniques in those moments when you find your patience being tested. As you do so, your brain will stop associating waiting with anxiety and you’ll be calmer.

Finally, understanding how to be more patient is necessary if you want to live fully and calmly. What you need to remember is that the most important thing when learning something new is perseverance. Therefore, if you introduce these behaviors on a daily basis, over time they’ll become a habit and you’ll find that your patience has improved.

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  • Reach, G., Michault, A., Bihan, H., Paulino, C., Cohen, R., & Le Clésiau, H. (2011). Patients’ impatience is an independent determinant of poor diabetes control. Diabetes & metabolism, 37(6), 497-504.
  • Jex, S. M., Adams, G. A., Elacqua, T. C., & Bachrach, D. G. (2002). Type A as a moderator of stressors and job complexity: A comparison of achievement strivings and impatience‐irritability. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(5), 977-996.