As the old adage goes, patience is a virtue. This is a pretty simple statement, but there’s a good reason why being able to wait calmly is awarded this righteous status. There can be many reasons why an individual is not always able to practice the skill of patience, whether they are frustrated at the inconvenience of waiting or downright angry at the lack of control over the situation. In the wrong environment, it isn’t hard to forget this particular virtue.
Technologies’ Threat to Patience
An increasing number of people are finding it harder and harder to be patient, and there seems to be one main cause: technology and consequent instant gratification. Research has supported this: one particular study looked at a video with 23 million views, finding that the majority of viewers clicked off if it had a 2-second loading delay. This research also noted the connection between higher internet speeds and higher abandonment rates, the faster things load, the less time it takes for a person to become frustrated. This is true not just with video, but the constant stream of information from social media and news outlets results in a growing lack of patience. The more an individual becomes accustomed to receiving results within seconds, the less able they are to practice sustained patience.
How a Lack of Patience can have Damaging Consequences
Initial frustration is not the only negative consequence of a lack of patience. In fact, it can have damaging effects on an individual’s mental health, their relationships with friends and family, and their ability to reach their professional goals. Luckily, for those wanting to improve their patience levels, there are things out there to help.
Ways to Improve Patience
- Be More Mindful
What mindfulness means is different for everyone. It could involve deep breathing exercises, a guided mediation session, or simply noticing one’s feelings and working on accepting them. Choosing the right mindfulness technique, and using this to deal with the initial frustration of a situation can really improve patience in the long run.
- Have Hobbies that don’t involve Technology
Most people spend the majority of their time interacting with some sort of technological device. The average day for most people involves working behind a computer, scrolling on the phone during the bus ride home, to sitting and watching television in the evening. Making time to pursue hobbies that don’t involve technology can be a beneficial break to this routine. It has been found that artistic hobbies, in particular, benefit us as they delay gratification while not totally denying it. Companies like, justpaintbynumber.com can be really great for those looking to for a beginner’s introduction to creative hobbies for the first time.
- Relieve Frustration in a Healthy Way
Individuals who are always stressed due to the demands and routines of their daily lives are much more likely to lack patience. The causes of this are often two-fold: firstly, being under time-pressured situations can destroy patience; secondly, increased stress levels make one more likely to become annoyed or frustrated. Devoting time, even if this is only 10 minutes, to a stress-relieving activity, like going for a walk or run, will help to allow one to gain more perspective in situations that require patience.