Imagine you’re stuck in traffic right now.
Cars lined up, bumper to bumper, as far as you can see.
Every so often, the person in front of you inches forward, but only for a few feet.
There’s nowhere to go. Even if you wanted to get off at the next exit, it wouldn’t happen any time soon.
Does being stuck in traffic make your blood boil? Are you sizing up the other lines, trying to figure out which is moving incrementally faster, and how you can squeeze in? Are you watching the clock on your dashboard and cursing every minute that goes by?
That’s how I used to drive. Every single day I had to drive to work, I’d get frustrated and stressed out. Either the driver in front of me was too slow, or the driver behind me wanted to go too fast, or the red light was taking way too long.
Every day I’d get to work stressed out and start my day on a bad note.
But then I decided I was tired of being stressed out and frustrated all the time. I started practicing patience instead, and it’s probably the skill that’s had the biggest impact on my quality of life.
Why Practice Patience?
Impatience triggers stress, which is terrible for you in a lot of ways.
When you’re impatient, you get stressed out by every little inconvenience and annoyance. It can ruin your mood and even the whole day.
But when you’re a more patient person, you have:
More positivity and happiness: You can focus on the good things instead of being frustrated by your current situation.
Lower stress levels: Stress is bad for your health, so practicing patience is healthy!
Better memories: Memories of a great day can be colored by remembering a moment of frustration instead.
Healthier relationships: When you have more patience, you get along better ...
... middle of paper ...
...ears, and people in my life have commented on the difference!
I don’t commute to work anymore, but recently I drove to the beach with a group of friends. It took less than an hour to drive there in the morning, but on the way back we hit some very slow traffic, and it took almost three hours to get home.
Years ago, I would have been incredibly frustrated. I had had a wonderful day at the beach with friends, but I would have let that day be ruined by the drive back.
But since I’ve been practicing my patience, it didn’t really bother me at all. One of my friends remarked that they were glad I was driving, and not them – they would have been too frustrated and angry by the hours of stop-and-go traffic. I would have too, if I didn’t practice patience. I’m glad I did, because I didn’t let a little traffic ruin the day, and was able to enjoy time spent with friends instead!
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