COVID-19 Survival Guide: Patience

Categories: News

Ann StrombergAnn Stromberg, Emotional Wellness Counselor

Patience

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” Joyce Meyer

In theory, the art of being patient appears to be the simple act of waiting for the desired results. The reality is patience is a hard skill to master. Patience is learning to take time to allow things to happen, and that is what makes it difficult. 

We live in a world of instant gratification. We have become accustomed to having the ability to get what we need with a few clicks on the computer or phone. Our devices keep us connected to everyone and everything in our lives. Most of us have lost our ability to be patient. We recognize the importance of patience and learning to delay gratification, and we spend hours teaching our children to be patient and gracious while waiting. Yet it is so easy to forget the skill we learned early in life.  

Taking the time to allow things to occur allows us to take time to think it through, to develop a strategy to meet the challenge ahead. Fine-tuning our patience skills takes effort and strength. We use patience to move through life in a more mindful state of being.  

Being mindful leads to more productive efforts when facing a challenging task. We are faced with impatient people every day, people rushing around unaware of the fact their surroundings. Impatient people are usually more irritable and difficult to be around, much like an inpatient child who has not mastered patience yet. Rushing through life typically leads to less productive activity and wastes more energy. 

Taking time to meet a challenge with a well thought out strategy usually helps us be more productive. Imagine the people you want to spend time with. Finding ways to strengthen our patience skills takes time and is a skill that we need to continue to cultivate as we move through life. It has been shown that people with strong patience skills have a more positive outlook on life, have less depression and anxiety, and overall better mental health. Patient people are more mindful and better at coping with challenges.  

Developing strategies for improving our patience starts with acknowledging the need to be patient. Being mindful of our abilities and limitations helps to keep our expectations realistic. When facing a challenge, take time to plan a strategy to move through the process. One big stumbling block we create for ourselves is placing an unrealistic time frame on our challenge. Regardless of the current task, making a career change, looking for a new position, or any challenge we face, look at your time frame, and extend the allotted time. Everything takes longer then we plan, and we always give ourselves too little time, and we become frustrated. 

Before beginning any project, take time to plan out each step and then go back and add time to each step. The additional time allows the task to be more enjoyable, and we are more mindful as we complete each step. There is never any disappointment when a project takes less time to complete than expected. Start today to evaluate your biggest challenge and take some time to look at each step and look for ways to create a more thoughtful and realistic time frame. Sometimes we need to slow down to get our desired results faster.