Misbah has been practicing her spiritual awakening journey for the last two years. She enjoys sharing her experience.
The Impatience in Our Society
We live in a world that is constantly changing and progressing. We're all racing. Trying to stay ahead of each other. For many of us, waiting more than a minute for a response to an email or text message is too long. Our society's impatience is becoming increasingly noticeable. We currently live in a world that values speed, immediacy, and brevity in everything. We respond hastily, without giving it much thought since the oppressive heaviness of waiting for anything is becoming increasingly impossible to bear.
I have a lot to say about patience that I have been practicing for almost two years. I believe this article will help readers in understanding and practicing patience, as patience is a virtue.
I have no intention of teaching anyone a moral lesson here. Although I have been practicing yoga, mindfulness, and meditation regularly for over two years, I am not a very patient person myself twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Even though I've made significant progress in this area, I still have a long way to go. Fortunately, I am progressing on the path of patience every day, step by step, because of my meditation practice.
Being patient does not mean playing the victim or waiting with crossed arms for things to take care of themselves. Patience is not even a state of waiting. It is a condition of complete awareness. Being fully present to what it is. Complete participation in what is to come next. It is all about a conscious state of mind.
When we settle into patience, every experience has meaning. Patience helps us to accept life's natural rhythms. It helps us in overcoming life's hardships. It teaches us to appreciate the present moment and to walk inwardly towards joy, contentment, and inner peace.
Patience is an inner compass that guides us when it's time to move forward and when it's time to wait. When it's time to take action and when it's time to let go. In this sense, patience teaches us the difference between “responding” and “reacting”. To react is to act without thinking. Whereas responding is having the patience to calmly observe what it is, what is being asked, and to choose the appropriate attitude and act appropriately at the right time.
This state of being in harmony with life can be cultivated everywhere, in any place, in any circumstance, including in the very small gestures of everyday life. Exercising patience is like exercising a muscle: if you do it a little every day, you will progress quickly. Here are some ideas to put into practice in our daily lives.
- Take three long, deep breaths before getting out of bed in the morning, firmly establishing within yourself the goal to be more patient for the day ahead.
- Avoid interrupting the other person during a conversation. This activity is especially useful when a heated debate is imminent. Even in the face of grief, now is the moment to breathe quietly and listen without judgment. Although it is difficult, being patient in such a situation may save us from a lot of trouble.
- Slow down your steps for two or three minutes once a day when walking to a certain destination. A meditation stroll, no matter how short, gradually teaches us patience.
- Remind yourself to relax within whenever you look at the clock anxiously. Relax your face, neck, shoulders, hands, stomach, back, and legs.
- When you're stuck in traffic, try to be patient and relax.
- When you are worried about anything, ask yourself to calm down and relax your thoughts. Take deep breath and try to schedule a time for anything you want to say. After a while, you will discover that you have saved yourself from a lot of hassle. You will also be able to avoid disputes with others.
- Try to remain calm in situations that irritates you.
“Learning patience can be a difficult experience, but once conquered you will find life is easier.”
— Catherine Pulsifer
3 Meditation Exercises to Practice Daily to Overcome Your Stress
It is important to realize that usually, it is stress and anxiety that make us impatient. What's interesting is that even resisting stress requires patience and practice. So, If you are frequently subjected to it, you should know some simple anti-stress tactics at hand. Let's take a look at three relaxing techniques that might help you to regain your calm fast and successfully.
Exercise 1: 5 minutes of mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness is inspired by meditation and yoga. It is to fight against stress. In mindfulness, you have to focus your attention on the present moment. It allows you to better manage your negative thoughts by focusing on your feelings and emotions.
With mindfulness, you will be able to reduce your nervousness, limit the effects of stress, and take a step back from the events that bring discomfort to you.
How to do:
To free yourself from stress and succeed in putting things into perspective, sit down in a quiet place in a lotus position or cross-legged, put your back straight - this helps you to breathe well - keep your eyes closed. Breathe in and out deeply to release the stress you feel.
Mindfulness is attached to the present moment; live it wholeheartedly. To learn to manage your stress, it is not always necessary to empty yourself. Let go of your thoughts, without judging them. Concentrate on your breathing and your muscles. Relax them. Do you feel that your mind is slipping away and slipping into stressful thoughts? Bring it back to the "here and now".
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Practice this exercise at least once a day to help you let go, reduce stress, or calm you down before a stressful moment.
Powerful Guided Mindfulness Meditation
Exercise 2: 15 minute stop (Pause)
The Stop exercise stimulates your senses to help divert your attention from the stressful element.
How to do:
Stop whatever you are doing. You can close your eyes if that helps. Concentrate on your breath. If your heart rate has increased due to stress, soothe it by breathing deeply. Focus your attention on 10 breaths. Deal with stress by looking at your surroundings. Observe it as if you are discovering it for the first time. Try to listen. It is possible to control your stress by listening to each sound. Do you hear the silence? Your colleagues chatting? The chirping of birds? Listen without judgment, with conscious attention. Touch it. Stress control is easier when you touch one or more objects: your clothes, a pen, your face. Don't judge any of your feelings.
When you have managed to "forget" the stress, gradually resume your activities. To escape the stress of everyday life, practice this exercise 2-3 times a week.
Exercise 3: 30 minutes of Zen meditation
Zen meditation promotes anxiety reduction and stress management. It aids in the release of your anxieties. It encourages you to cleanse your thoughts. At the end of the session, your mind will be peaceful and relaxed, and you will regain control of your thoughts.
How to do:
Sit in a quiet room when you are stressed. Turn your face to the wall in a lotus or half-lotus position, with your knees firmly rooted in the ground for these breathing exercises. Maintain a straight back and head, with your chin, tucked in and shoulders relaxed. Your eyes should be half-closed, your left hand has to be resting on your right, and your palms towards the sky. You can breathe normally if that helps you to relieve your tension, or you can increase deep inhales and exhales. As you maintain this stance and remain focused, you will experience a sense of peace around you.
After 30 minutes of practice, this anti-stress method reaches its full power. It will not take long for your mind to be at peace. You can deal with stress in this manner as often as necessary. Two sessions each week would undoubtedly help you in reducing your stress.
These exercises will help you lessen your stress level. They enable you to learn three fundamental skills: calm, deep breathing, and concentrating. These exercises will come in handy in any situation. If one of the exercises does not work for you, simply go on to the next one. You will notice that with "serious" practice, you will soon be able to relax and act against stress without even thinking about it.
With practice and a few exercises, being patient will become more natural. I believe we should stay kind to ourselves. Others will surely appreciate our attitude of patience. We must be patient with the world around us.
All of the exercises that I have mentioned are ones that I do regularly. They have always helped me in lowering my anxiety and being patient with myself and others. Finally, it takes a lot of time to develop patience, but once we start practicing it, our lives will take a new and beautiful direction and who will not like it?
Wishing you a happy practice!
“Two things define you: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.”
— George Bernard Shaw
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Misbah Sheikh