Patience is a form of wisdom

“Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.” –

Jon Kabat-Zinn

The best things come to those who wait¦ how much do you agree with this statement? For some of us, it resonates well, but for others patience may not come to us easily! Sam here with week 3 of our 7 pillars of mindfulness.

When excited about an event, celebration or holiday it can feel very difficult to practise patience – we often want things now! It’s natural, especially in today’s society it’s not that long ago we had to wait for things that we can now get at the touch of a button. We didn’t have accessible internet where we could watch whatever we wanted within minutes, or have hot food from our favourite restaurants without interacting with somebody on the phone or in person. Many of us had only one family TV to share with 4 (or 5) channels and had to wait for new movies to be shown (usually over Christmas or Easter!) and we had to wait a whole week for the next episode of our favourite series to come out! Just a decade ago we couldn’t just WhatsApp each other asking how we are! In the not so distant past, correspondence was done via letter… imagine the patience required to hear from a new love, or a sick relative. We are now in a very fast society where a lot is expected from us, and we expect a lot in return. Impatience can impact our mental health, it can impact our working relationships, our friendships and our home life.

For me, when I make a conscious effort to practise patience I feel a wave of calm and relaxation come over me. Sometimes it is a case of managing my expectations – does the friend that I’m meeting for a catch up always have the same life drama that she wants to talk to me about for the 100th time? When my partner says he will meet me at 2pm does it really mean 4:30pm? Is the restaurant that I’ve chosen fully booked and so service is slow? Being mindful about triggers that make us impatient can be a first step to having a little more patience. Maybe the friend needs that constant reminder of your amazing advice. Maybe the partner has a lot going on that has to be scheduled around the more exciting things in his life. Maybe the restaurant has some newer staff that are managing a large workload. Losing patience in these situations can just make things worse.

Many times there is not a lot we can do about the situation – a traffic jam being a great example! If we cannot change the situation, the only option is to be patient. Accept that our expectations need to be adjusted to enjoy less stress. *Feel gratitude for the things that we do have in that moment.

We can also practise patience with ourselves. How many times have we felt like we are ‘failing’ because we haven’t reached a goal that we set for ourselves? Think about your new years resolutions for example. For me, and some others, ‘must lose weight’, ‘must eat more healthily’, ‘must train more’ are usually top of the list. If these do not happen within a few weeks we can become impatient and either take more extreme measures, or give up completely. Try setting realistic, small goals or intentions that you can stick to and achieve. *Make them flexible and be patient with yourself.*

The key to patience is to relax a little more. Find the positives in the situation, or distract yourself. Depending on the situation, maybe you can use your time to people watch, to catch up on emails or get lost in some thoughts of gratitude!


Sam and Ash

Author profile
Sam Tank

I have been a Personal Trainer since 2015, having previously been a listening volunteer for the Samaritans, I knew that I wanted to work with people to see just how amazing we can all be! I am a lover of life and enjoy a challenge, pushing myself and others to reach various goals. I very much believe in whole body fitness and health -my mission is to inspire you to become the best version of yourself and make every day count.

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