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How to Be a More Patient Person

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/smarter-living/how-to-be-a-more-patient-person.html

nytimes.com

How to Be a More Patient Person
Relax. It’s going to be O.K.

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Cultivating Patience

Patience decreases negative emotions and conditions like anxiety and depression. It also increases empathy, generosity and compassion.

Patience as a personality trait can be cultivated and modified.

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Patience: Three Expressions

  1. Interpersonal: Remaining calm when the other person is upset or being a jerk.
  2. Handling Hardships: Being able to see the positive in a serious setback.
  3. Daily Annoyances: Not be irritated by the daily hassles and delays.

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Identify Your Triggers

Most of us have heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response while we face a problem, obstacle or danger. Impatience is the ‘fight’ part of the same.

Our brains have a set of nervous tissue called the Amygdalae which is not nuanced enough to understand that all threats and dangers are not the same, not requiring the same (extreme) reaction. If one can bifurcate between true danger and less-serious threats, it is a good start to control your emotions.

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Interrupting The Stress Cycle

We need to intercept the communication we do with ourselves and listen with an awareness of what we tell ourselves about a crisis situation.

If we are able to address this problem with awareness and interrupt the stress-response cycle, then we are free of the reactive ‘fight or flight’ mode.

Example: If waiting in a line is bothering you, be aware of this and tell yourself that this is essential and just a matter of a few minutes.

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Cognitive Reappraisal

When faced with a bothersome situation, use the technique known as the cognitive reappraisal and reframe the unpleasantness of the circumstances with a larger sense of integrity and background, recalling how you may also have done the same in the past, or how this is helping you grow as a human being. _

Being integrated and poised makes you a zen-like figure while others who get annoyed reflexively seem like mere mortals._

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Train To Be Patient

Mere trying does not cut the cake of patience, and just like a marathon, one has to cultivate it with a plan, not expecting immediate positive outcomes.

One has to develop this skill with time and consistency, just like a muscle.

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Make Lifestyle Changes To Avoid Stressful Situations

One can game the system and not be in situations where there could be a fight or flight response. If you hate rush-hour traffic, avoid it with a vengeance. If you don’t like waiting in a waiting room play your favourite game on your smartphone during that time.

It is also a great idea to cut down on your coffee, and practice meditation and other relaxation techniques.

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Be Realistic With Your Daily Schedule

It is good to have achievable targets and not to overbook or overschedule your day in such a way that everything feels annoying, as that can lead to self-sabotage.

If a small inconvenience can make you aggravated, don’t have too much on your plate in the first place.

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