One Small Thing

3 small things you can do to outsmart impatience

Whether you find yourself surrounded by people who are constantly late, or those who are moving too slow on the highway, you are waiting … Waiting ... Waiting ... And waiting.

Waiting can cause great frustration which leads to stress and we all know a stressful day is not a very fun day.

If you would like to outsmart impatience, stop waiting and enjoy more of your day, and your life, here are three mind tricks you can give a try the next time you find yourself yelling at someone in the car next to you.

1. Allow anger for three minutes.

Rant. Curse. Stomp. Say everything you are thinking out loud. It’s important that if we are already at the point of anger or frustration, that we allow that emotion to flow. If you are in a moment of impatience and are feeling angry at the situation for not going as planned, allow yourself three minutes to be as angry as you like. Say everything you need to say. Release the resistance and agitation.

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Want to relieve stress? Imagine the worst-case scenario

Play Video - 0:42

Want to relieve stress? Imagine the worst-case scenario

Play Video - 0:42

Isolate yourself during this process, if possible, as to not involve or upset others during your expression of anger. As you watch yourself having this “fit,” see if you can find the humor in it. If you can laugh at your reaction, you have released the stress completely.

2. Let now be good enough.

Goals are great to have. Just don't let your aspirations become better and more important than the here and now. We want it all. If we allow the "then and there" to become our main focus in life, we never feel the joy of “making it.” We miss out on happiness we could be experiencing all along the way.

We waste our lives waiting on a then and there that exist only in our mind’s perception of perfection or success. We never allow ourselves permission to accept ourselves, our lives, our success … As is. Where you are right now is exactly where you are supposed to be. Say it out loud: I’ve made it. This is it. Look around. Take it in. Accept it. Make peace with it. Love it. Let it be good enough.

Know more is possible and more is coming, but keep your focus and appreciation on this beautiful phase. Remember before we can love anything, we have to first stop hating it.

3. Adopt an “ah so” attitude.

This is a very Taoist approach, but it works wonders even if the word zen is not in your vocabulary. As life challenges you and you become exhausted by playing the waiting game, relax, take a breath and repeat: Ah so. Ah so is the equivalent of “Oh well”... “Whatever”... “So what”... Pick the phrase that feels the most natural to you and use it to bring yourself into the perspective that arguing with what is, no matter how much you don’t like it, or how important you think it is, doesn’t change the present situation. It’s already happening.

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1-minute meditations to calm your mind

Play Video - 5:58

1-minute meditations to calm your mind

Play Video - 5:58

Relax into your feelings with a good old "oh well, this is happening right now." And you might just feel your jaw unclench. Remember, you are doing this for your peace of mind and are not condoning or saying yes to another’s perceived bad behavior or inconsideration.

You are now understanding that impatience is simply resistance in disguise. Some of us have a stronger urge to stand up, fight and argue against injustice or what we want. We have to learn to harness our power and pick our battles. A taxi showing up late is not a battle worthy of your time and energy. Ah so.

Learning to accept every moment for what it is will help you let go, relax and hopefully, eventually, smile at everything life throws your way. Change what you can. Accept what you can’t.

For more advice from Angie, check out her website. For more simple tips to improve your life, sign up for our One Small Thing newsletter.

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