How did you learn to be patient

Learning to be patient - tips for practicing

Patience can be learned, right ?!

How she gets angry when it doesn't work out. “Dear traffic light, get green. LOVE LIGHT, BECOME GREEN. Orrr! ”I told her a hundred times that our magic trick only works if you are patient. But patience is a completely strange and abstract thing when you are only three years old like my daughter. Patience is not an option when we're in the car and the trick doesn't want to work. "Dear damn crap traffic lights, get green at last," I think myself, while my daughter tosses angrily back and forth in her car seat, frustrated. She is like me

Impatience creates stress - in any situation

Patience has never been my strong point. Not in traffic, not in dealing with myself or others. That's why I can do a lot of things just a little (tennis, play the piano, tend vegetable patches), but nothing so good that I can really enjoy it. I give up too quickly. The "Buy It Now" button on eBay was invented for people like me. I can also be very impatient with my husband - mainly when he doesn't guess my thoughts right away. And last but not least, I am annoying with my vague urge for "Not immediately - now!" even my children.

Patient people are healthier, according to a study

Impatience is a very human dilemma. "Present versus future", describes Prof. Dr. Matthias Sutter, economist and an expert on patience research. His book "The Discovery of Patience" bears the meaningful subtitle "Perseverance beats talent" and shows on the basis of many studies, that patient people are better off in many situations. They have a higher level of education, are financially better off, and are healthier. But how do I become more patient? After all, patience is a mix of genetic predisposition and upbringing (the more reliable the parents, the better children can wait, according to research).

Train patience - does it work?

According to Sutter, patience is a mixture of self-control, tolerance for frustration, and perseverance. But he remains vague about how one can actively train this lucky trait. The sadder you are, the greater the desire for reward, I learn in his book. And he reports studies that show that People who feel grateful are best left to wait. So don't be sad when you need a lot of patience - and be grateful if possible. I remember both. But I don't find it really tangible.

The opposites of patience, namely anger, indignation and blame, are addictive

So I keep looking. This, too, turns out to be a small test of patience: the internet is teeming with coaches who propagate various tips - diversionary maneuvers when waiting (solving arithmetic problems!) And mindfulness training that helps to be in the here and now. But when I came across Dr. I notice Jane Bolton, professor at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She starts at the root of the problem and calls impatience a "happiness killer".

One has to recognize that the opposites of patience, namely anger, indignation and blame, are addictive.

Dr. Jane BoltonTweet

That is why sentences like "I have no time" come out of our lips so quickly. And I also realize: my impatience often becomes a reflex when things turn out differently than I imagine. My good Time management I automatically expect from others. Which is fatal because everyone has their own pace. Worse still: I often take it personally.

Impatience is driven more by our own expectations than by the behavior of others

And there it takes hold Bolton's second tip: improve one's attitude towards discomfort. "Many of us believe that 'feeling good' is the only tolerable status," says Bolton, encouraging people to keep reminding themselves in annoying situations: "This is quite uncomfortable, but tolerable." I realize: It is not the behavior of others that triggers our impatience, but rather we ourselves with our expectations of life. Bolton's final tip: turn off the self-talk that we are so passionate about when we are forced to wait.

We should stop telling ourselves how wrong everything is here, how wrong the others are doing us - then we can also let go of the feeling.

Dr. Jane BoltonTweet

Tip for the impatient: Use waiting times productively and stretch time management

The other day, when I was forced to wait five hours in an office, it was one of those patience tests that made me want to keep pulling my hair out. It was a complicated but important government affair, and running away was out of the question. So I remembered Bolton's three steps. And realized: I could have guessed that it would take longer. Instead of getting upset, I did something much more productive: let my mind wander for a few hours. For example, how easy it would be to stretch my time management if I knew beforehand that I have only limited influence. The thing with my children, for example. A "same" is often okay if I plan more time for certain things - like getting dressed in the morning. A good idea that I've been taking to heart more and more often - and which actually makes me more relaxed. And because I was so happy about my idea that day at the office, astonishing happened: The five hours of waiting felt like four at most. At most.


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