We all go through moments when we feel stressed, anxious or impatient and wish we could learn how to be more patient and present. These are natural human emotions that most people experience from time to time. However, some of us might find ourselves reacting to these feelings in stressful situations more frequently than others. And while it’s okay to feel impatient or rushed sometimes, this can also have negative effects on your mental health if you feel like this is a constant state of being.
When you constantly feel like you don’t have enough time, things can begin to spiral into a negative space that is filled with stress, anxiety and sometimes even burnout. But what if there are ways you can have more patience and thoughtfulness in your everyday life? Here’s how to be more patient and present right now…
The importance of patience
We’ve all heard that “Patience is a virtue,” but have you ever stopped to think about why this is so important? It may sound obvious, but without patience, you’ll never be able to enjoy life to the fullest. You’ll always be running around trying to do everything as quickly as possible and never really be present in the moment. When you’re in a rush to get everything done, it can cause you to make mistakes, feel stressed and create feelings of anxiety.
From the small things like driving in traffic to the bigger things like wishing away days in the lead-up to an exciting event, many of us can feel impatient from time to time. Learning how to be more patient and thoughtful can help us slow down and enjoy the things we may have missed when we were rushing. Here are some tips and tricks to help you live life at a slower pace.
Be more present when you’re with others
When someone else is talking to you, do you find your mind wandering? Maybe you even pick up your phone – also known as ‘Phubbing‘ (we’ve all been guilty of that at some point or another). When you’re with other people, try to be as present in the moment as possible. This means that you should be fully focused on the conversation you’re having and really pay attention to what the other person is saying.
When you’re fully present during conversations, you’ll feel more confident and comfortable with yourself. You’ll also be able to enjoy the people around you more and deepen your relationships. If you struggle building bonds with others, try this guide on building better relationships for introverts and extroverts.
Make time for what you enjoy
There might be certain things in your life that you enjoy, but you never seem to make time for them. This can leave you feeling stressed and frustrated because you’re not doing the things that you really want to be doing. It can also lead to feelings of impatience and discontent! If you want to become more mindful of your actions and do things that you enjoy, you need to make time for them in your life. You can start by setting aside a few minutes each day for little moments of self-care.
You can also set aside a few hours a week to really focus on what you love. If there are certain hobbies or things you’ve always wanted to try, make time for them in your life. By doing this, you’ll find your stress levels reduce which can, in turn, help you become more patient and present.
Breathe to bring back your sense of calm
When you’re feeling impatient and stressed, it can be hard to find your sense of calm. One of the quickest ways to ground yourself and learn how to be more patient is by just breathing. You don’t need to do anything fancy or spend hours meditating… Just breathe. By focusing your attention on your breathing, you can find your ability to calm down much easier and faster. Try this little breathing exercise to help you feel more patient and present:
- Breathe in gently through your nose for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath at the top for 7 seconds
- Take a big exhale through the mouth for 8 seconds (you can make a “whoosh” sound while you do this too)
- Repeat this breathing cycle up to 4 times
Start practising gratitude
When regularly practising gratitude, it’s a lot easier to feel more present and patient. Gratitude can help relieve stress and anxiety, focus on the good things in life, and be more mindful of all of the wonderful things (and people) around us. It’s also a fantastic free activity to do, that doesn’t require a lot of time or brain power. You can simply think of 3 things you’re grateful for every time you feel that impatience creeping in.
There are so many wonderful benefits of gratitude – and different ways to practice it too. Use this guide to find a way of practising gratitude that works for you. Turn this into a daily habit to cultivate more long-term patience.
The STOPP Method
If you find that you’ve often got a short fuse or are quick to temper, or maybe that you’re just quite reactive in stressful situations, then the STOPP Method could be perfect for you. Often called CBT in a nutshell, the STOPP technique will help you stop and gain some perspective on the situation. It can help stop you from being reactive about something, to be more present, patient and mindful. If you want to learn how to be more patient, then here’s a quick rundown of how to use STOPP:
S – Stop what you’re doing
T – Take a deep breath and/or a physical step back
O – Observe the situation and how you feel. What’s going on? How is it making you feel?
P – Perspective. Take a helicopter view of the situation or consider what advice you’d give a friend.
P – Plan how you’d like to move forward with more patience and calm.
Read our whole guide on the STOPP method here.
Spend time in nature
Last, but by no means least, getting out in nature is one of the best ways to learn how to be more patient and present, and to cultivate more gratitude too! There are so many studies into the healing power of the natural world, and there’s no denying that being outside can do wonderful things for our mental and physical health. Even just a few minutes outside can help you feel more calm and centered.
Look for local beauty spots such as parks, woods and forests, or anywhere near water that you can use as a little ‘escape’ any time things feel too stressful. When you’re there, turn off your phone and just be present as you take in all of the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of the outside world.
Learning how to be more patient and present in your life can really help you enjoy every moment to the fullest. When we feel calm and collected, we make better decisions and can look after our own wellbeing better. We can also be there for our loved ones better when we focus on patience and being more present. We hope these tips help you find more calm and peace.