Patience: 8 tips & 10 sayings for more serenity
Impatience is an annoying everyday companion that makes you nervous and unbalanced. The subway is late or the callback from your potential employer just won’t come. These situations can be less stressful if you approach them the right way. We’ll give you valuable tips for being more patient.
Patience is an important skill that you often rely on in everyday life. That’s why it’s all the more important to work on your patience so that your impatient behavior doesn’t ruin your mood in the future.
Patience affects your whole life
Although it takes a closer look, patience defines your life from a young age into adulthood. Professionally, in social relationships, and in addictive behavior, it plays a crucial role.
Walter Mischel, an Austrian-US psychologist, was able to prove this in the 1960s with his marshmallow test, which is now even used in various variations for advertising purposes on television.
In this experiment, over 500 children were given a marshmallow. If they waited a certain amount of time and didn’t eat the marshmallow, they were given a second one. Some made it, some didn’t.
But the exciting thing happened more than a decade later: the children who were more patient then were more successful in their schooling, less likely to resort to drugs and alcohol, and had higher social skills. Even 40 years later, the differences in the lifestyles of the then-patient and impatient children could be seen.
How to be patient: tips for being more patient
The test shows the big effects that patience has on you. These are partly genetic, partly due to education. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change your behaviors in adulthood. Below, we’ll show you how to be more patient through your daily life.
Living in the "Now"
Patience always has something to do with coming to terms with the here and now and not "wishing" your way out of an unpleasant situation.
Fears about the future and burdensome memories from the past can hold you back. Focusing on the present is the only way to escape the worry-devil cycle and relax.
Many people live so much in the future, where everything will be perfect and peaceful, that they don’t really perceive the now at all. This is a big mistake they make with their impatience. They miss out on their current life and wait for something that may turn out very differently. This frustrates them and makes them unbalanced in the long run.
You are impatient not only when you are looking forward to something, but also when something scares you. That’s why it’s even more important to focus on what’s on your mind right now and how best to deal with it.
Write down moments of impatience
It is also useful to question which everyday situations make you impatient. It is even best to write down the moments on a piece of paper. Are there situations that should make you nervous but don’t? What goes on differently in those situations?
You may be able to see a pattern right away that you can work with. Another benefit of this list is that as you have successes, you can gradually cross off the situations and ideally the list will eventually dissolve.
Don’t take everyday waiting personally
As much as your brain searches for an explanation for unnecessary and annoying waiting, it won’t find one. You didn’t do anything wrong, so why do you now have to sit endlessly at the office wasting your day?
As simple as it sounds: Don’t take the situation personally, it’s pure coincidence. There are still many people standing around you who know just as little to do with their waiting time.
Use procrastination for waiting
Especially nowadays, you are constantly exposed to distractions when you actually want to concentrate on something else. With countless entertainment or messaging apps, the smartphone offers heaps of ways to keep yourself busy.
Then the queue seems like the perfect place to finally read those articles you saved months ago or reply to your friend’s message from abroad. A list can be useful for that, too, where you jot down little interesting newspaper articles or books you’re dying to read.
Do physical exercises
The body can also be a support and helpful tool for more serenity. Yin-yoga, for example, requires the body to remain in one position for a long time. In doing so, the thoughts can come to rest and the mind can relax.
In addition, yin yoga releases muscle tension and cramps. Daily small exercises of just a few minutes can already relax and push spasmodic thoughts to the background, at least for a while.
Finding inner peace
Finding your inner peace can help you become more patient. This may sound esoteric to many and not like something real you can work on. You should break away from this image; for patience, inner peace is the key.
Maybe you know the feeling of being permanently agitated somehow. Something new is constantly coming up and you are constantly worrying and hoping that everything will go well. At the same time, you long for peace and ask yourself when everything will finally be over and relaxation can return. Often, however, you wait in vain, because inner calm, as the name suggests, has little to do with external influences.
People who have inner peace are not easily upset. They leave the past behind and let the future come to them. They know what they have achieved and what failures they have had to put up with.
However, it is crucial that they can emotionally distance themselves from their experiences and continue to carry their mistakes with them only in a rational context. To achieve inner peace, there is no prescribed recipe that you can work off. You have to feel inside yourself and find the core for your imbalance.
Be able to let go
It can be extremely frustrating when a project doesn’t go the way you thought it would. Often, this not only causes your project to fail, but also your vision for the future.
This is where letting go comes in. Even if that means having to take a step back and thus declare work already done as void. It’s unpleasant, but it’s not the end of the world.
But not only in big projects, also in interpersonal relationships letting go of certain ideas makes you a more relaxed person. Permanently, certain reactions are expected from certain people. "Why did she cancel just like that?", "That’s not the answer I wanted to hear" or "Why is he doing that now? That’s not his way at all!".
In this way, you constantly make demands on your fellow human beings and are dissatisfied when they react differently than you had imagined. You must also free yourself from these ideal concepts and not always be petty, especially with people who are close to your heart. This will do you good, above all. Not only because you are more relaxed, but also because you develop more tolerance.
No matter what your situation in life, don’t get stuck on anything. Clear goals are important for success. But sometimes taking a step back gives you a chance to look at the big picture and set new intermediate goals. That way, you can avoid mistakes.
It’s important to consider multiple starting points, but also sometimes to just let things come to you instead of racking your brain.
The balance between control, patience and composure is something everyone has to find for themselves. The only important thing is to question yourself again and again and to listen to yourself.
This may all sound very exhausting and time-consuming, but once you have changed your way of life and integrate it into everyday life, it will quickly become normal and the questioning and letting go will then happen all by itself.
Patience leads you to live in the present and enjoy the moment without worrying. You are aware of your perceptions and appreciate not only the big events in life, but also the small successes and joys. Also, you don’t compare yourself with others so often anymore. Instead, you know that everyone needs their own time to learn or overcome certain things. Moreover, this strengthens your self-esteem.
Sayings about patience
Patience has been a virtue for thousands of years. Thus, numerous scholars have already spoken of the value of patience and the benefits that come with this skill. We have gathered some examples that may motivate you to work on your patience as well.
- "Our patience will achieve more than our force." (Edmund Burke)
- "He who says patience, says courage, endurance, strength." (Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach)
- "True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity, before it is entitled to the appellation." (George Washington)
- "Endure and persist; this pain will turn to good by and by." (Ovid)
- "Time heals all wounds." (Voltaire)
- "A lack of patience in trifling matters might lead to the disruption of a great project." (Confucius)
- "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time." (Leo Tolstoy)
- "One minute of patience, ten years of peace." (Greek proverb)
- "Patience attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far." (Swahili proverb)
- "To lose patience is to lose the battle." (Mahatma Gandhi)
These sayings illustrate that patience is the key to success in many cases. Whether it is friendship, overcoming severe blows of fate or the path to professional success – everything benefits from your patience. So it is often worth waiting instead of acting hastily.