Patience Helps Us Slow Down When Things Speed Up

Patience Helps Us Slow Down When Things Speed Up

By Sophie Caldecott

I recently realized that I live most of my waking hours in a state of perpetual striving. There’s a nagging voice at the back of my mind constantly adding new items to my to-do list. My phone is littered with notes made at odd times of the day and night, reminding me to email this person, pitch that idea, edit my website, write this blog post, make a healthier meal plan, and complete a complicated DIY craft project with my kids. 

The lists spill out over the pages of my notebooks and diary, onto sticky notes and scraps of paper in my purse. The to-do list is an ever-evolving beast that is never satisfied, and leaves me feeling impatient, frustrated, and restless. Can you relate?

Overstimulation sets us up for failure

We crave peace — to be fully present in the here and now; to soak it all up; to be grateful for all that we have. But our minds constantly skip ahead to the next task. We barely notice when we reach or surpass one goal because we’re so focused on what we haven’t achieved yet.  

We live in an unnaturally fast-paced culture, with a 24/7 digital connection to the rest of the world. With all the noise that surrounds us, we feel pressure to cram as much into our schedules and brains as possible. 

One of the many consequences of this overstimulation can be that we end up holding ourselves to impossible standards and get impatient with our limitations and seemingly “slow” progress. There are so many things we could do, and we’re more aware of all our options and potential than ever. It can be hard to remember how impossible it would be to actually do it all.

Patience can unlock productivity and open the door to growth

Research shows multitasking damages our productivity and can negatively impact the way our brains process information. We know that rest is essential for our well-being and creativity. The benefits of disconnecting from our tech and making an intentional choice to slow down our lives are more and more widely discussed. 

I’ve found in my own life, however, that understanding the benefits and actually internalizing those beliefs are two different things. One of the trickiest aspects of choosing to unplug and slow down is to tune out that frantic, impatient voice telling us that we’re not achieving enough fast enough. So what’s the solution?

Patience is the antidote to this sense of restless striving — especially learning to have patience with ourselves. Here are a few ideas to help you cultivate this in your own life. 

Tips for cultivating patience

1. Understand that your energy will ebb and flow

Despite what our post-Industrial Revolution capitalist society would like us to think, we’re not machines, and our bodies have more in common with the natural world and the seasons than our constantly switched-on devices. Research shows that our brains rarely work well for long uninterrupted stretches of time, and, as Inc. put it, “An 8-hour workday only makes sense if you’re screwing in widgets on an assembly line.”

You’re probably already aware of your favorite time of day, and have a sense of whether you work better in the morning, afternoon, or evening. This applies to the seasons, as well — your productivity and whether or not you’re feeling at your best, in general, can be hugely influenced by other factors like your hormonal cycle, your health, and whatever is going on in your life at that particular time.

Remembering you’re not a machine and that your mood, abilities, and needs will be constantly shifting and changing can help you become more patient with yourself. 

2. Grow in self-awareness

In their online course, A Seasonal Year, Maddy Lawson and Eleanor Cheetham suggest mapping out the year to find where your energy is naturally highest and where it’s lowest. Think about what kind of work fills you up, and what kind of work leaves you feeling more drained. Consider which seasons find you scribbling down new ideas like there’s no tomorrow, and which ones make you feel like hunkering down and staying firmly in your comfort zone.

Once you’ve learned to recognize your own patterns, you’ll be better placed to think creatively about how you can work with your tendencies, rather than against them. We don’t always have a choice about how much work we have on our plates or how we spend our days, but we usually have at least a little more choice than we think we do. And growing in self-awareness is the first step toward becoming more patient with yourself.

On my own journey towards self-awareness, for example, I’ve learned that my energy tends to be the lowest in the winter. So now I can prepare myself to be less ambitious and more patient with myself during that particular season.

3. Stay curious about your roadblocks

Nir Eyal, the author of Indistractable, encourages us to watch out for the moments when we start to procrastinate and question why we’re putting something off. He points out that there’s always a deeper emotion underneath the instinct to procrastinate — whether that’s fear of failing, not knowing how to do something, weariness and feeling too burnt out to engage with it, or just plain boredom. 

When you cultivate a habit of observing the things that trip you up — that hold you back from making the progress you’d like to make without judgment — you can have more empathy for yourself instead of beating yourself up or calling yourself lazy. Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t about making excuses or trying to get out of doing the necessary work. When you can say, “That’s interesting, I’m trying to put off doing this thing because I’m really tired right now,” it’s easier to be patient with yourself. This allows you to find potential solutions — like rearranging your schedule in order to tackle a task later on with renewed focus and energy — rather than just getting frustrated with yourself.

4. Notice, celebrate, and cultivate gratitude for the good

I’m guilty of not taking the time to reflect on — or celebrate — the good things in my life. I recently achieved a dream I’d been harboring for years, and after about five minutes of feeling excited and happy about it, I went back to worrying about the next thing. This experience helped me realize that patience is a habit — a mindset that we have to cultivate — and that it’s intimately linked with gratitude.

It can feel kind of corny or egotistical to stop and pat yourself on the back when something goes well or you handle something in a way that you’re proud of, but as I get older I’m realizing how important it is to celebrate the small victories. Regularly refocusing on the bigger picture can help you see how far you’ve come, have a deeper sense of gratitude for where you’re at, and make peace with the time it takes to get anywhere good.  

Patience is a virtue

Ultimately, having patience with ourselves helps us to develop deeper patience for others, and it all starts with understanding ourselves better. These tips will help you to self-assess, put patience into practice, and reap the benefits of increased self-awareness and productivity throughout your life. It might seem counterintuitive, but when things speed up, we should slow down — and watch the wonderful results that patience provides. 

Patience Helps Us Slow Down When Things Speed Up

Link:https://peacelilysite.com/2022/12/28/patience-helps-us-slow-down-when-things-speed-up/

#Patience#Cultivate#Self-assess#Self-awareness

Source: https://grottonetwork.com/navigate-life/health-and-wellness/how-to-be-patient-with-yourself-tips/

How to be Patient with Yourself and Others in a Changing World

How to be Patient with Yourself and Others in a Changing World

By: Rochelle Perper, Ph.D. | July 10, 2020

We live in a time where everything can change at an accelerated pace. No protocol exists for a time like this, no wisdom upon which to rely or set a course to follow. If ever there was a time when we should show patience, it would be now, right? After all, we’ve never done this before, and we can’t expect to get it right the first time. Sadly, too many of us do the exact opposite. We hold ourselves and others to unrealistic standards, beat ourselves up for not doing it well enough, criticize ourselves for lagging behind too long, and expect not to feel natural, human emotions.

Patience is that natural power we have within ourselves to wait for something without getting angry or upset. The longer we must wait, however, the more patience escapes us. In our changing world today, it’s no wonder that our patience is being tested. We are still waiting for answers to questions like “When can we resume usual activity?”“What will school look like next semester?” or “When will we see a real change for racial equality?”

In our changing world today,
we could all use a little more patience –
with ourselves, our world around us, and with others.

Why is it important to be patient?

In the best of circumstances, disruptions to our daily routine cause frustrations that unnerve us. Now, consider the added stressors of:

  • Negotiating new social norms and health protocols
  • Grappling with anxiety and fear for the future
  • Feelings of outrage in response to police brutality and racial injustice
  • Suffering with personal and collective grief
  • Managing added responsibilities

No wonder we have a tough time. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting.

We all want to feel or be better as quickly as possible, an understandable goal in our achievement-driven world. The common misconception prevails that if we push ourselves, we will drive ourselves toward reaching our goals. This is simply incorrect.

When we are inpatient with ourselves, we reject parts of who we are, judge ourselves harshly, and speak to ourselves unkindly. Do thoughts like “I should be used to this by now,” “I can’t get anything done,” or “I’m so exhausted all the time; there must be something wrong with me” sound familiar?

This lack of patience blocks change because we deny ourselves support and knock ourselves down. This leads to lack of motivation to keep trying, and we end up stopping before we’ve really ever started.

Tips to be more patient:

Learning to stay patient with ourselves and others is one of the hardest skills to master in life. And, we need it now more than ever. Use the tips below to engender patience:

1. Focus on progress, not perfection

Think for a moment how you would talk to a child when learning something new. You would likely offer this child encouragement and support while passing off mistakes and errors because this is how kids learn and grow. So, why would you speak to yourself any differently?

You wouldn’t blame a child if they didn’t get it right the first time or get frustrated along the way. Even as adults, we never outgrow the need for gentle, supportive guidance. Try focusing on the progress you make and what you learn rather than beating yourself up for not doing it right or aren’t far enough along.

The same goes for others too. When your partner, a neighbor, co-worker, or stranger at the store acts in an irritable, unhelpful, or unkind way, try giving them the benefit of the doubt. We easily imagine the worst in people, but we never really know their story or what situations they come from. We can safely assume that these times present difficulties for everyone. We all deserve a little grace when we fall short now and again.

2. Practice

Like anything else, learning to garner patience with ourselves takes practice. Research shows that waiting makes us happier in the long run. Give yourself the opportunity of time to earn your reward and resist the urge for immediate gratification. For example, try the following:

  • Allow someone to go in front of you in line at the post office
  • Really listen to someone else’s opinion without interrupting them and before you respond
  • Watch half of a movie one night, and the other half the next night
  • Wait a few moments to begin eating when you sit down for a meal

As you practice, you will begin to gain more patience, and may even realize that you feel calmer, can come to agreements more quickly, and feel happier overall.

3. Reduce stress

Patience comes with more difficulty when you have a lot on your plate and a lot on your mind. When overscheduled or preoccupied with worries, you have diminished capacity to put forth the effort required for patience. To remedy this, examine the things in your life that cause your stress. Try to find solutions to these problems and ask for help when you need it. Look at where you spend your time and see what you can cut out to allow more time to focus on the things that are important to you.

There is no substitute for good old-fashioned self-care to reduce stress. Research shows that three deep abdominal breaths three times a day lowers your levels of stress hormone in your bloodstream. Other relaxation techniques include imagery, guided meditation, body scan, or mindfulness practice. Of course, you also reduce stress if you get enough sleep, allow for physical activity in your day, and eat healthy (especially avoiding too many sweets and alcohol.)

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Pexels.com

4. Stop multitasking

We are more impatience when we juggle too many things at once. We all do it, we jump from one task to another without finishing the first. This practice proves ineffective time and time again. Worse, it causes a great deal of frustration because you do not do any one of these things well. By focusing on one thing at a time you will feel calmer and accomplish a great deal more.

Bonus tip: Before you go to bed, write down 3 things on a post-it note that you want to do the next day. Make these tasks a priority by tackling them first and resist the urge to get distracted by other things. Research in organizational settings demonstrated that this strategy significantly increased productivity in the workplace.

Change isn’t easy. Quick fixes reside mostly in theory, and lasting change takes time. We will experience challenges, and we may even go backwards at times. Long-term success includes small steps in the direction of your goal. With calm, controlled perseverance and loving kindness, you will achieve whatever you’ve set out to do.

5. Say kind things to yourself

Patience with ourselves and others requires mindful recognition of our humanity and that none of us are perfect. Patience means embracing yourselves with self-acceptance and focusing on progress rather than on perfection. It means giving yourself compassion rather than withholding it. It means speaking to yourself with more kindness and empathy such as:

“I know this is hard. I know you’re struggling,
but I believe in you. You can get through this.”

Changing your internal dialogue provides the most helpful practice you can do to develop the patience that resides within you. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a technique used to identify critical, negative thoughts and develop a more balanced way of thinking. Learning to change your internal dialogue takes time, so try to be patient with yourself as you learn to be more patient with others.

How to be Patient with Yourself and Others in a Changing World

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/12/08/how-to-be-patient-with-yourself-and-others-in-a-changing-world/

#Patient#Multitasking#Stress#Practice#Kind

Source: https://therapychanges.com/blog/2020/07/how-to-be-patient-with-yourself-and-others-in-a-changing-world/#:~:text=Patience%20means%20embracing%20yourselves%20with,I%20know%20this%20is%20hard.

Slow down and Look Around

Slow down and Look Around

On weekday mornings, I hurriedly drive my son to school. Trying to beat the traffic and catch as many green lights as possible, the drive is usually a blur. One particular morning’s drive changed my perspective. While rushing down a wide arterial road, my son exclaimed to me that the trees on the sidewalk looked very beautiful.

Glancing over to the trees, I suddenly noticed the vibrant reds and yellows of the leaves clinging onto branches or drifting onto the sidewalk as the wind blew. Despite driving down this street every morning, in my hurry I had not noticed the changing colors of the trees until now, nearly the end of fall. The bright hues of the fall foliage was absolutely beautiful. This nature beauty made me slowing down my daily past pace. I feel the healing power of nature relaxing my tense nerves, and filled my heart with joy, peace, and harmony.

As I admired the scenery on the commute, I felt how wonderful it was to be present in the moment. I realized that oftentimes we lose sight of the little elements of natural beauty that are all around us. Life can be hectic, but we must make a conscious effort to enjoy the omnipresent beauty of our world.

A poem by a ancient Zen Master came to my mind:

Blossoms in Spring, Breezes in Summer,
Glorious moons in Fall, and Snow in Winter.
When one is not held back by nothing,
Every moment can be wonderful.

Egg Shells and Patience

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Eggs are an essential part of a good breakfast. There are countless ways to prepare them, but not all recipes are made equal. I used to cook omelettes for the family, but recently I learned that hard boiled eggs are actually a better choice. Hard boiled egg can keep more nutrients from the egg and avoid extra oil.

The only problem is, peeling a hard boiled egg is a rather arduous task. The shell and egg white absolutely refuse to be parted. Usually, the peeled egg ends up looking kind of like the moon, full of craters and lumps and whatnot. This morning, I got very frustrated trying to peel my hard boiled egg. It felt like the shell and egg white were superglued together. Even my mother’s old trick of placing the boiled eggs into cold water didn’t seem to work. After my first peeled egg ended up looking like a misshapen golf ball, I was ready to throw them all onto the floor.

Fortunately, I am a Buddhist disciple, and I remembered one of the most important things I’d learned: patience. I told myself, as a student of the Buddha who cultivates myself everyday, why am I still so easily distressed by outside events?

So I decided to let myself calm down for a while. I left the eggs in the cold water and went off to relax. After maybe fifteen minutes, I returned to give making breakfast another shot. Surprisingly, the shell peeled off easily this time. I realized that by being patient and giving the eggs more time to cool down, it was now much easier to complete my task. So when annoying things happen, we must first be patient. Let it all cool down, and things will be much easier to deal with.

Patient means embracing  yourself and all things around you with gentleness and kindness, and doing so will get happy and more productive results.

Slow down and Look Around

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/12/08/slow-down-and-look-around/

Source: http://atranslatorsfarm.blogspot.com/2013/09/blog-post_2.html

#Slowdown#LookAround#NaturalBeauty#Patients#Eggshell#Buddhism#BuddhistDisciple