Are you striving to learn to improve your patience and understanding? Do you want to be a more calm and collected person who can handle any frustrations that come your way?
The good news is patience is a virtue that you can develop and it doesn’t take a very long time to do so if you practice and work at it.
Having patience can make you happier, better adjusted, and more understanding – someone who is able to achieve goals with ease.
Patience allows you to stay calm when you are in a difficult situation, and you can practice being patient, becoming an expert over time. For example, when you’re in line at the grocery store, just practice your patience and you can thwart that negative emotion you are starting to feel.
There are opportunities to practice patience all around you; you just have to know what to look for. Reduce your stress level and watch your frustration cease to exist by looking for ways to be more patient!
In this article, we’ll cover 25 ways to achieve patience and understanding – practical and easy things that you can start doing TODAY!!
What Is Patience? Are You Patient?
Patience is the ability to wait or do something without complaint or annoyance despite difficulties. Patience is also the ability to keep a cool and collected head when pain, disappointment, and distress come your way. Patient people tend to be a joy to be around, while impatient people tend to wear your patience out!
We all know people who lose their temper and get frustrated easily. Many names are probably coming to your mind right now!
What about you? When do you lose your patience? Is the following statement true?
The best we can hope for when we are impatient is to be around understanding people.
I hope that’s not all we can do, because, if so, we’d need to live in a very understanding world, and unfortunately, people tend to be more impatient than they are understanding.
I think rather than hoping to be around understanding people, we should work to better ourselves. That’s why in this article, you will learn how to improve the level of patience and understanding you have. Yes, they are merged together for a reason!
What Is Understanding, And How Does It Relate to Patience?
Understanding is very much like patience, but it can be defined as being sympathetic and caring. It goes hand-in-hand with empathy, the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
So, how is it related to patience?
When you are impatient, it’s a good idea to be around an understanding friend, and when you are patient, it’s smart to be understanding at the same time, or your patience might have little meaning. If you don’t understand (comprehend and care) what’s being said or done, the fact that you’re a patient person could mean nothing.
Here’s an example. Joe explains to Karen that his fish need to be taken care of a certain way while he is out of town. She doesn’t understand his directions or the reason behind the details, but she patiently listens. While he may think her listening skills are fantastic, when he returns home to find his fish have passed on, he might see her in a different light.
So, patience and understanding need to go together to be effective – in most cases.
If you are consoling someone but cannot understand why they are so upset, the fact that you are a patient listener and caring companion says a lot. It does count to be patient while not understanding everything about a situation, but, as mentioned, it depends on the circumstances.
Who Has Patience and Understanding?
There are exceptions to every rule, and no one fits perfectly in any category, but here are some generalizations to further understand these terms. In my book, we should attempt to be exceptional people, not ignorant or impatient, as much of the world is.
- Exceptional: A person with a great deal of patience and understanding
- Ideal: A person with some amount of patience and understanding
- Calming: A person with patience but does not attempt to understand what is being said
- Smartish: A person who understands what is being said but is not patient
- Childlike: A person with little to no patience or understanding
What type of person are you most like? Do you want to improve the amount of patience and understanding you have in order to be exceptional?
The Benefits Of Patience and Understanding
You probably could name some of the benefits of patience and understanding. You’d probably rather be around a patient and understanding person than be around someone who is short-tempered and frustrated all the time.
When we are around patient, understanding people, we feel listened to, cared about, and at ease. Being patient helps you maintain your current relationships, keeping them intact, helps you improve your relationships, maintain your reputation, and de-escalate uncomfortable situations. A patient person is more positively viewed by others.
One study published shows that improving your patience can reduce the need to engage in compulsive behaviors, such as impulse buying and smoking. When you’re impatient, you often feel anxious and frustrated, which makes you feel the need for these compulsive behaviors. This also reduces the chance of depression!
When you develop a great deal of patience and understanding, you feel less anxious and stressed, less frustrated and out of control, more empathetic and generous, and more compassionate. Because you are calmer and more collected when you’re patient, you are also more focused and more productive; you don’t waste time on little frustrations.
Without frustration and anxiety slowing you down, you can go faster and achieve more because you have a dash of patience in your omelet! Doors may open up for you, and new opportunities may come forth as you see things more clearly!
Those are pretty good reasons, in my opinion, to maximize your level of patience; wouldn’t you agree?
Patience and fortitude conquer all things. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
3 Types of Patience
There are 3 basic types of patience, and I think you should try to master all three.
- Interpersonal patience is patience with other people, which you can develop through listening, understanding, empathy, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence.
- Life Hardship Patience is patience through enduring a serious setback in life; this is also known as perseverance. You can achieve this type of patience through focus, determination, self-control, and endurance.
- Daily Hassles Patience is the patience you need to endure life’s constant, petty frustrations. Develop this patience by practicing self-discipline.
Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear, and obstacles vanish. – John Quincy Adams
25 Easy Ways to Improve Your Patience and Understanding
1. Identify your triggers.
When we have the fight or flight response, we are reacting to a situation in one way or the other. When you act in an impatient manner, you are fighting back. If you flip someone off on the highway, you are upset, and you are allowing other drivers the chance to affect you in a negative way.
The amygdala part of our brain is to blame when we lash out because of threats. This part of the brain is unable to distinguish between a true danger and just something that is annoying us. So, how can we control this??
The best thing to do is determine what kind of things upset you – people who repeat themselves, drivers who tailgate you, or conversationalists who interrupt you when you are telling a fascinating story. Learn to recognize your annoyances and record these things in a diary or journal. This will help when it comes to the next point!
2. Determine why those things upset you.
Now, what have you determined that you are impatient about? Why do these things upset you? Determine what alerted you to write down these annoyances. If you are telling yourself something negative, turn it around and think about the opposite side of the argument.
If you get a certain physical feeling because of these issues, determine what you are feeling so you can thwart these sensations and feel pleasant instead.
Once you determine why you got impatient, you can combat these issues with solutions instead of fueling the fire with more negative thoughts or behaviors.
3. Change your mindset.
Now that you’ve taken a step back and can clearly see what makes you impatient and why it upsets you, you can think of things in a different way. Look at the objective viewpoint here.
Is it really worth your time to sweat this issue any longer? How does this annoyance affect the big picture? Is this truly something you want to spend more time thinking about?
Research has shown that having a cognitive reappraisal (viewing your circumstances in a new light) can improve the amount of patience you have. Don’t dwell on frustrations. Instead, think about how you are better off growing from this experience and rising above the perceived threat.
Another way to view things in a new light is to think about the amount of patience you possess. If you want to improve as a person, you need to decide what traits and values you want to have and grow in ways that support that. If you’d like to be a more patient and calm person, you should consider growing your patience.
The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride. – Ecclesiastes 7:8
4. Practice being comfortable with the uncomfortable.
You now know what your triggers are, why they upset you, and what you need to do to fix the problem should it occur again. It’s time to train for the event that might set you off. Remember that people don’t become experts or professionals in their industry or sport overnight; they train for years. It takes practice to master patience.
You don’t want to wait for the next instance to occur when you will either be patient or impatient. Instead, you want to know how you will respond. When you have a small instance that bothers you, practice enduring that annoyance to work on your patience.
In Oklahoma, each Saturday morning at noon, they test the tornado sirens here for 3 minutes. I’ve always found this to be incredibly annoying, but over time, I trained myself to listen to it for a minute or two at a time until I could endure the entire 3 minutes without complaint or discomfort. This is how you build endurance and patience – practice!
If you learn to experience things outside of your comfort zone, you will learn to be more patient when things don’t go according to plan. Remind yourself that this experience is merely uncomfortable, not intolerable, and you will break bad habits and be a more enjoyable person to be around!
Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace. – Proverbs 15:18
5. Set realistic expectations.
Make sure you are being realistic when it comes to achievable expectations. If you set unreasonable timetables or goals, you will only be faced with frustration and disappointment, which can easily lead to impatience.
Ensure you aren’t self-sabotaging by setting reasonable goals and expectations. Don’t expect too much of yourself or others. It’s nice to set lofty, challenging goals, but make sure they are within reason.
Can someone actually achieve them with any given challenge? Are you being fair to yourself?
You also must be patient. Keep your hopes high, for the day of the Lord’s coming is near. – James 5:8
6. Decrease the amount of stress in your life.
Having less stress in your life is the best way to combat impatience. Work on stress reduction if you are an impatient person.
We’ve covered how to recognize your triggers by keeping a journal or diary, how to discover why you get impatient when you do, and what to do when these triggers occur. We’ve even talked about training beforehand.
If you want to be combat-ready at any time for your triggers or other stressors that could cause you to be impatient, consider reducing the stress that you currently have in your life. Consider decluttering your life and becoming more of a minimalist. This requires fewer decisions in life, which reduces stress and anxiety.
You can reduce stress by decreasing the amount of caffeine you intake in a day or by practicing yoga or meditation. If your job is causing you stress, you might consider working fewer hours, taking on fewer responsibilities, or delegating more tasks to someone else.
Check out the Eisenhower method for reducing stress. This method helps you get rid of non-effective tasks that are on your plate and focus on what’s important to you.
Start making more time for yourself by taking breaks at the office or scheduling more vacation days so that you can relax more.
Remember to prioritize sleep, as well. You should be getting anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. When we are tired or haven’t slept well, we tend to have trouble with patience.
For more help in this area, check out the app Personal Zen, which helps reduce the stress and anxiety you may be feeling.
7. Calm your mind and body.
Deep breathing exercises can also increase the amount of calm you feel. They can help you calm your mind and body. Relaxing exercises like deep breathing can ease any impatient feelings you are experiencing and help you reach a state of calm quickly and easily.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6
8. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the act of focusing on the present rather than thinking too much about the past or the future. When you practice mindfulness, you become calmer, and you can more clearly focus. By doing this, you’ll feel less stress and frustration, and things will seem attainable rather than overwhelming.
Smiling Mind is a mindfulness app that helps you achieve mindfulness and track your moods. You can monitor yourself and develop coping strategies for when you feel stress.
9. Use your time wisely.
Often, we focus on so many things at once that we lose sight of what’s important, what we should be doing, and what will bring us success. Instead of doing multiple things at once, consider focusing on one thing at a time. By doing this, your day will be clearer, and you will likely get more accomplished.
Knowing you knocked out a few things on your to-do list should give you less stress, which will, in turn, bring you more patience!
You are less likely to snap at someone if you feel confident in the successes you have achieved during the day!
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. – 2 Peter 3:8
10. Slow down.
We live in a world where multitasking is the norm, but did you know that doing one task at a time can actually lead to more productivity? Focus on one task, and don’t let distractions get in your way. Doing things like this will decrease your need to hurry, leading to more patience.
You may find it helpful to write things down – what you need to do, what you’re accomplishing now, distracting thoughts, and how you plan to combat any feelings of impatience. Sometimes, when we reframe things by writing them down, we slow down considerably.
Another old-fashioned trick for slowing down is to count backward from 10. If you stop your rushed thoughts and make yourself take a break between activities, you should feel more well-adjusted and healthier. Just give yourself a buffer between tasks; you don’t need to schedule things back to back! Be efficient and effective with your time.
There’s somewhat of a difference between being productive and being efficient and effective. When you are productive, you often feel great that you got a lot accomplished, but you may also feel a bit stressed out because of how much is or was on your plate. This can lead to impatience.
When you’re efficient and effective, on the other hand, you are productive, and you accomplish things that matter in record time. You feel smart because you used your time wisely; you don’t usually feel as stressed out as you would if you were to accomplish 100 things that day.
So, aim for what’s important to you and accomplish the related tasks in an efficient and effective way so that you won’t feel stressed and frustrated. Thus, you’ll have no reason to be snappy and irritated because you are pleased with the progress you made!
11. Count your blessings.
Research shows that being thankful can make us more optimistic and less stressed. These things help us with patience, so get out a gratitude journal and start counting your blessings every day, and I’m sure you’ll find many things to be grateful for.
This is a simple way to avoid stressful situations or to manage them accordingly. When you feel the power of frustration and impatience coming on, just take a moment to appreciate the many little things that have led you to the place you are at in life.
If you enjoy the journey of life, you are more likely to appreciate what has brought you here.
12. Take breaks.
When you are passionate about something, it’s very hard to stop what you are doing to take breaks. However, if you constantly work non-stop on something, you are likely to eventually burn out on what you love doing! Remember to take a five-minute break here and there and let your mind and body refocus on other things.
One way to do this is the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique permits you to work on a project non-stop for 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break. You can do this four times and then take a 25-minute break before starting another Pomodoro cycle.
It’s a way to be very productive and efficient. You’ll get a lot accomplished doing this!
Being burned out and overwhelmed will lead to more stress and frustration, which will make you less understanding and more impatient. Make sure you don’t work yourself too hard on tasks; take breaks to do things you enjoy!
13. Set boundaries.
Learn to say NO. By saying no to some things, you can fully commit to what is already on your plate, which will make you feel less anxious and more patient.
14. Be positive.
The benefits of having a positive mindset are pretty obvious; they lead to a greater outlook on life and more happiness. Practice positive self-talk when doubt floods your mind, and don’t allow negative people the chance to rub off on you. The more you are around negativity, the more likely you are to see the glass as half-empty.
Stay strong in your positive mindset by remembering positive affirmations, quotes, and uplifting Bible verses – anything that makes you see the brighter side of life.
Don’t let negative people bring you down to their level. Misery loves company, but joy can be contagious, so do your best to rub off on them and look at the difference that makes!
A happier you means a more patient you!
Check out my Free Motivational Life Quotes for more positivity!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. – Romans 12:12
15. Accept change.
Change happens, whether we want it to or not. It’s often an unwanted part of life because we want things to go according to our plan. If we can learn to accept change, change the things we can, and understand the difference between what we are able to change and what we aren’t, we are more likely to feel peace when change occurs.
When you feel the feeling of peace, you are obviously going to be more patient and understanding because we feel calmer and more in control of our life.
Read more about accepting the things you can and cannot change in the Serenity Prayer.
16. Learn to truly listen.
Listening is different from hearing. It’s an active process that is very important if you want to understand what another person is trying to say. If you learn to listen intently and with focus, you will feel drawn into what you are hearing, which will make you more patient.
17. Look at the benefits and your long-term goals.
If you think about the long-term results of your actions, you are more likely to be calm and patient when doing something that matters to you. If you have a goal to read the Bible in a year and are reading a part that’s confusing you, remember your goal, and you’re more likely to calm down and read at ease than you are to give up.
18. Distract yourself.
Let’s say you are stuck in rush hour traffic. You may feel your stomach tying in knots or a headache emerging as you get more and more impatient. Play a game on your phone, phone a friend, or write down thoughts for your next novel (if you are stopped). Keep yourself preoccupied with something interesting when you feel impatience.
19. Take your time.
Often, the reason we are impatient is that we are rushed. Pause between thoughts, respond carefully rather than reacting rashly, and think before you speak. These may sound like cliches, but if you purposefully practice doing these things, the next time you are about to put your foot in your mouth, you will instead respond with thought.
Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour. – Ovid
20. Find healthy ways to release frustration.
There’s no question about it; being impatient leads to frustration. When we want something now, we don’t want to wait. We get rash and don’t make the wisest decisions when we’re in a hurry.
Get creative and think of things that release your frustration. Consider joining a sports team and release your stress through exercise rather than through your words.
21. Turn to your support group.
When you feel impatience creeping into your life, you should turn to your support system to help you calm down. This could be a network of friends, family, or other people in your life who encourage you.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – Ephesians 4:2
22. Practice empathy.
Empathy is when you put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You don’t do this physically, but you are able to see things from the other person’s point of view. Being an empathetic person will definitely help you be more understanding.
As you start to see things from a new perspective, you will realize that there are two sides to every story. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to do this, either. Imagine you are thinking and feeling what the other person is, having the same belief they do, and suffering from adversity in the way they are. This will open new doors for you!
23. Embrace life.
Find things that spark joy in your life and embrace those things. If you have trouble seeing the positive side of things or viewing your life in a positive light, check out the app called Happify, which helps you overcome stress, negative thoughts, and life’s challenges. It’s worth a shot, right?
If you practice patience by embracing life on a frequent basis, you will improve your life because you won’t get easily agitated by everyday life situations.
24. Remind yourself that this will pass.
Often, what we tell ourselves is what we believe. If you fill your mind with false assumptions, most likely, you will believe those to be true. Remember to tell yourself that this is only a momentary uncomfortable thing and that this will pass with time. By simply telling yourself something soothing like this, you are improving your patience.
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. – Proverbs 14:29
In today’s fast-paced world, we expect instant gratification, but we can often gain a greater appreciation for the things we must wait to get our hands on. Waiting builds stamina, patience, understanding, and excitement. Think about the children who have to wait for Christmas morning to come along before they can open their gifts from Santa Claus!
If you’d like to build your patience, make yourself wait a little bit for things. Start small. Make yourself wait for a cup of coffee rather than grabbing the first cup at the office. Just do small things like this to build up your patience and to learn how to wait for things in the future.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be calm the next time you had to wait in line?
Would you not love to actually enjoy letting people cut in front of you?
Wouldn’t it be peaceful to be at ease when things don’t go according to plan?
You can become a more patient and understanding person by waiting! You just need to start small and practice waiting over and over until it becomes natural.
Remember that cultivating patience takes time. If you learn how to manage your anger and build compassion, you can rest assured that slowly you will master this skill. This will improve your health and life, in general!
All things come round to him who will but wait. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
How to Be Patient: A Video
Here is a quick 2-minute video by Mind Tools, which explains what patience is and how to gain more patience by using a few tips and techniques.
The hope today is that you have now learned some quick and easy ways to improve your patience and understanding. Perhaps these ways have encouraged you to find other solutions that work for you.
Whatever secret weapon you use to have more patience in your life, make sure you reduce your stress and get enough sleep each night!
We’d love it if you’d check out some of the other articles written to help you succeed in life. Be sure to share your own tips and suggestions for finding peace and balance in life in the comments section below.
Slow and steady wins the race. – Aesop