5 Ways to Become More Patient

April 8, 2016   Haven Lindsey


It is a common belief that being ‘comfortable’ is the only state we can tolerate. Yet we often hear that growth only happens when we go outside of our comfort zone. Some of us may be battling addiction, some of us may be in recovery, and some of us may not have an addiction at all yet if any of us really want to change, heal, learn or grow we must go outside of our comfort zone.

For many of us, patience is something that resides outside our comfort zone. It’s not all that surprising when you think about it, our culture is increasingly filled with nearly instant gratification. We have smart phones and the internet at our fingertips. We have fast food, fast delivery, stores are open longer or we can shop instantly online. We have movies and games on demand and the ability to pause TV or record a show so we don’t have to wait through the commercials. Can you imagine life without a microwave oven, without fast-food drive-thru’s, text messages or email? Do you know what it’s like to wait for camera film to be developed before seeing the picture you just took?

We don’t have to wait for things like we used to and yet we still crave things to be faster: faster delivery, faster service, faster uploads, faster downloads. Our lives have become faster and while modern conveniences are well…convenient, it’s robbing us of our ability to be patient.

Patience has been defined as even-tempered perseverance. By being patient we aren’t as easily triggered or upset, we can respond without reacting. Those who are patient tend to have control of their emotions and aren’t prone to anger. For individuals in recovery, learning to be patient is a key factor in maintaining sobriety – there are no quick fixes or shortcuts.

How do we learn to be patient in a culture where we don’t have to be? What happens when we have no choice but to wait? To be patient? What about a person in recovery who is used to instant gratification? How difficult is it to allow time to recover and to get comfortable with things taking time.

If patience is something you struggle with, then you know it resides outside of your comfort zone. Below are 5 steps to becoming more patient.

5 Tips to Becoming More Patient

  1. Embrace being uncomfortable. Make yourself wait 10 minutes before eating desert or put off watching your favorite show until the weekend. When you practice being patient, you will find that little annoyances remain little…you won’t sweat the small stuff.
  2. Be grateful and express gratitude. Studies show that when we are grateful we have a deeper appreciation for what we have, which leads to being more mindful and more patient.
  3. Find a healthy outlet. When we are impatient it is easy to become frustrated and irritated. Frustration builds just like steam and needs to be released. Discover your outlet…it may be taking a walk outside, meditation, exercise, or even tuning into a comedy channel that gets you laughing. Anything that allows you to release the frustration will make room for patience.
  4. Teach. If you can find a role in which you are teaching others anything that you know about…how to swim, bake and ice a seven-layer cake, French-braid your hair, create a website, teach your child how to tie his shoe or ride a bike, etc. Anytime you are in a position of teaching someone else, you must be patient and willing to answer questions, to stop, listen and repeat steps. When we take the time to teach others, we learn a lesson in patience.
  5. Count to 10 & Take deep breaths. By taking deep breaths, we send the signal to our body to slow down. It may seem simple, but deep breaths lead to slower breathing and patience becomes a little easier.

Patience will only come to those who wait and with patience, comes wisdom.

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