When was the last time that your patience was tested? Do you remember what the situation felt like? Perhaps, it seemed like you were on the brink of exploding. Or, maybe you had the urge to rush into a decision wherein you could still use some time to think.
Oftentimes, our patience gets tested on matters that would require us to pause, reflect, and hold out. It’s not always easy being patient, which is why it’s highly regarded as a “virtue.” Those who choose patience when faced with difficult moments are more likely to make rational decisions, have better relationships, and be more peaceful within.
If you’re currently struggling with patience or looking to hone it, here are some powerful insights to help you keep your cool when it almost seems impossible.
Why it's so hard to be patient
These days, we’re all living fast-paced lives. We always find ourselves in the hustle and bustle of things, and, often, this is where we feel like we’re thriving.
We’re used to instantaneous results and we find the best “shortcuts” or “hacks” to get ahead. And this modern phenomenon is what makes us even more prone to impatience.
We struggle with patience when we are unwilling to wait for things or people. Whether it’s a slow driver ahead of us on the road or a life-changing decision that needs to be carefully thought out, the situations that test our patience have the tendency to get the best of us just because we lack the capacity to wait and the luxury to take more time.
Why patience is so important
Impatience can often lead to anger and frustration. The reason behind this is that we want to reach a goal without going through the means to get there. But, we can’t actually make it to the destination without the least bit of journeying first.
Aside from raging emotions, other major effects of our impatience can manifest in outcomes such as:
- Poor judgment.
- Irrational decisions.
- Harsh attitude towards others.
- Unnecessary stress.
Having said that, a lot of negativity in our lives can be avoided if we choose to be patient.
Though it’s not always easy to keep your cool amidst adversities, we must always take the higher road in order to steer clear of these damaging results.
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Studies about patience and wellbeing
So, what do we really get from being patient? First things first, our mental and emotional well-being benefits the most when we choose patience over anger, frustration, and stress.
In a study conducted among Iranian students, the relationship between patience and other constructs such as life satisfaction and personality was examined.
The students were given the top assessment tools to measure these paradigms, and it was found that patience, especially long-term, is a predictor of mental wellness, particularly for those who scored high on the depression scale.
Another study sought to increase patience among participants through a patience training intervention. After administering tests and conducting the intervention, one of the major findings was that increased patience can indeed alleviate depression.
5 Powerful benefits of patience
Aside from scientifically-proven benefits on your mental health, there are also a whole lot more powerful benefits to being patient.
Here are some that I have found in my studies:
1. You make thoughtful decisions
Contrary to making rushed and irrational decisions, you can carefully assess your situation and make a more sensible judgment when you’re being patient.
Personally, I usually practice patience when I know that something is not meant for me and I have to wait until the best course of action comes along.
From getting into relationships to deciding on a job opportunity, I’m quite proud of myself for being able to refrain from making rash decisions. I know what I want and deserve, and so I’ve learned to wait until something feels exceptionally right.
2. You cultivate enduring relationships
Patience is also associated with how we treat people around us. Most of the time, the people closest to us can drive us inexplicably mad.
Perhaps, your partner has done something that triggered your annoyance. Instead of lashing out at them, patience teaches us to breathe for a moment and look at matters from a wider perspective.
This way, we also become empathic and compassionate towards the other person and avoid strain in our relationships.
3. You think long-term
When we’re patient, we’re able to look far ahead into the future instead of being stuck with a short-term vision. As they say, good things in life take time.
Patience lets us appreciate the journey that it takes to make it to our bigger goals.
In my case, I’ve decided to pursue post-graduate studies after already working in the industry for more than five years. Even though it will slow down my career growth at the moment, I know that investing in my formal education and taking the time to improve myself will give me better results in the long run. I just have to be patient with my own process, forgive myself for the delays, and trust that I’ll get there soon.
4. You find inner peace
The worst thing about being impatient is that it brings us stress.
We’re always short-tempered, antsy, and demanding. It seems as though the world will end if we don’t get our way right here, right now.
But, when we choose patience, we also choose inner peace. We let go of the things that don’t serve us. We trust our own pace. And, we let the universe run its course. Patience teaches us to pause and surrender.
And, in a society where everything seems to be rushed, we can all use the time to just accept the present moment as it is and just breathe.
5. You learn to be kind
When we’re patient, we are more likely to act from a place of kindness. When the world around us seems to be uncaring and restless, patience reminds us to be gentle and lenient. We get to be more forgiving towards those who are driving us to our limits.
And this doesn’t only apply to the way we treat others, but it also encompasses our relationship with ourselves.
For me, being patient is being kind to myself. It’s allowing myself to make mistakes, learn from them, and take the necessary time to grow.
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Being patient may seem like a tall order especially when we find ourselves caught up in the hustles of life. But, choosing patience will allow us to find peace and happiness in our path, no matter how long and winding it may feel. There’s no need to rush or to be harsh. We can always meet others halfway and embrace ourselves right where we are in our journey.
What do you think? Do you find that being patient correlates to feeling happier? Do you struggle with practicing patience? Let me know in the comments below!