Learning to be patient and remain calm also stretches time and relieves stress. Cultivating patience is really learning impulse control: Learn how to do “emotional maintenance” and shake off stress; How to quit when something is getting to you. It’s an issue in self_control. To acquire patience, you must stop the impulse to quit, change your thinking/attitude, call a friend to get encouragement. People who do need to learn patience don't know how to tell they're being impulsive, or how to stop. They often have a sense of entitlement (“I just didn't want to wait”— said with some pride) and a lack of emotional maturity. They're actually like emotional three-year-olds in adult bodies. To learn the necessary patience and determination to reach long-term goals, practice on small things first, and learn how to sort through what is worth exercising patience, and what is not.
For example, there are situations and people you have to work a little bit more to understand what they mean, to not take what they say the wrong way, or use a little more patience around them, because their personalities or styles are quite different from yours.
Perhaps you have run into people who test your patience at work, with friends, or among extended family. Sometimes people are difficult to handle because they remind us of other people we had problems with in the past, so we're attracted and frustrated at the same time. Others can be difficult for many people around them. Problems with a familiar type of person may not emerge until you're already bonded and involved as friends or partners.
The following exercise will help you step back and look at others as a source of information about yourself, view people from a different angle and use the very people who upset you as a reflection of the internal dynamics behind your struggles.
To let go of small things:
1. Perspective—put them in perspective—will it be important an hour from now—fifteen minutes from now? Most of them won’t be.
2. Self-understanding: If someone or something upsets you, don’t exacerbate the problem by getting on your own case for reacting. Reactions are normal—it’s what we do with them that counts.
3. Rise above: If someone frightened you (a driver who cut you off) then give a little prayer of thanks that you survived, bless the other driver (who probably needs it) and you’ll feel better.
4. Benefit of the doubt: If someone hurt your feelings, acknowledge that your feelings are hurt, then consider that the other person is probably more clumsy than intentionally hurtful. The world is full of emotional klutzes who don’t realize the impact of their words and actions, and they create more problems for themselves than for you.
5. Consider the source: A neighbor or associate who is truly nasty may repeatedly hurt your feelings. Consider what must be going on inside that person’s head, and be grateful that you’re not hearing that. Even the meanest people are far nastier to themselves than they are to others. That person is trying to relieve his or her pain by inflicting some on you.