Even with all of our modern conveniences designed to make life easier (here’s looking at you, smartphones!), the fact is, today’s world is more hectic than ever.
When we’re not swamped at work or rushing around doing errands, many of us feel compelled to stay busy, checking our work email and worrying about deadlines even on our days off.
With so many worries and responsibilities crammed into our daily lives, it’s easy to lose sight of one of life’s most important skills: patience. Here are a few ways to work the practice of patience into your life—even on those ultra-hectic days when you hardly have time to breathe!
1. Use your commute wisely.
Is there anything more frustrating than a bad traffic jam or a late train? Probably not. Commuting just may be the number one source of impatience in our lives—but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead of looking at a clogged freeway as a source of frustration, use this time to reflect on your positive intentions for the day. Better yet, listen to your favorite music, a great podcast, or an inspirational audiobook to transform your commute into much needed “you” time.
2. Forget fast food—prepare your food slowly.
During especially busy times, it can be all too tempting to simply stop at the drive-through on your way home instead of taking the time to prepare a meal. But chances are, once you’re done with that Big Mac, fast food remorse will set in.
Setting time aside to prepare a healthy, nutritious meal can make all the difference. Take the time to honor your body by being conscious about what food you use to fuel it.
3. View long lines as an opportunity.
It happens to all of us—on your busiest, most stressful day, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll run into a long line at the bank or an endless wait at the pharmacy. But just like being stuck in a traffic jam, your experience of this inconvenience is all about how you look at it.
Instead of seeing it as a dreaded delay, think of these long lines as an opportunity to practice patience, and take a few minutes to relax during your stressful day.
4. Ease your way into the day.
Do you find yourself scrambling to get ready in the morning? For most of us, the answer is “yes.” A few minutes of extra sleep can be extremely tempting, but rushing around to get ready for work in the morning can leave you feeling agitated and impatient all day.
Give yourself ample time to wake up slowly, and mindfully prepare for the day ahead. You may find that it changes your whole outlook!
5. Practice patience with others.
Whether you’re frustrated with your loved ones or butting heads with a coworker on the job, it can be easy to give in to impatience. Instead of becoming annoyed or critical, do your best to extend compassion and patience to whoever is on your nerves. Not only will this improve your relationships, but it will also improve your state of mind overall.
6. Take extra time in your yoga practice.
Does yoga become one more item to tick off your “to do” list on busy days? If you find yourself rushing through your asanas to complete your session, it’s time to take a step back and practice patience with your yoga. After all, this is the time you set aside for yourself, and it’s one of the most important parts of your day!
When your life is at its busiest, it’s extra important to go slow and focus on the breath in your practice.
7. Make meditation a part of your daily routine.
If you’re not meditating consistently already, consider this your wakeup call! Any form of meditation can help you regulate feelings of anger, frustration, and annoyance that come up when we’re feeling stressed and impatient. Adding a few minutes of meditation into your day—before bed, for example, or after your yoga session—can dramatically improve your patience.
8. Be patient with yourself.
Last but not least, remember that no one is perfect. No matter how committed you are to practicing patience, you will have a day where everything goes go wrong, making patience all but impossible. And the truth is, that is okay!
You’re human; giving in to frustration and impatience happens. Just remember that one moment of impatience doesn’t negate your whole practice. Every day is a new opportunity to be just a little more patient.
How do you practice patience in your life? Let us know in the comments!