Is patience one of those things you know you need to work on - something you actually want to improve? Or do you believe that you're an impatient person and there's nothing you can do about it? So there!
My poor mom. She could have been a spy; trained, as they are, to sit quietly and unobtrusively, to watch the target. So still. So patient. Especially with me, as we sat side-by-side at the sewing machine.
I think I was around ten or eleven years old when the sewing lessons began. I'd get frustrated for any number of reasons; I knew, even then, that I had a deficit when it came to patience.
Why couldn't I be like my mom? When she showed me how to put in a zipper, or use the button-hole contraption, she was so calm - imperturbable. Me? Not so much. This made me feel badly because I thought there was nothing I could do about my lack of patience. But, I now know differently. I have seen the error of my ways.
You see, thanks to the stress techniques I use on a regular basis, I am more patient than I have ever been at any time in my life. It's not to say that I didn't have patience for some things. I did. I still get frustrated and have slip-ups, usually when I'm tired and out of sync. Or when my husband wants to show me the intricacies of some computer program...
"When living mindfully, we are no longer preoccupied by thoughts of what may be going on everywhere else - we are simply here." - The Vancouver Sun.
That line illuminated a deeper part of my past. I realized that part of being impatient, and why I suffered - as did my mother - was because I wanted to be done. Now. Quickly. Tout de suite! Pronto! ¡Ahora! Off to the next thing, regardless of whether it was a good next thing or a bad next thing. I wanted to gallop on ahead. You miss a lot that way. You miss the moment, whatever it may be.
How do stress techniques encourage mindfulness and patience?
- You get to practice tuning in to how you are feeling. Now, in the moment.
- You use the power of your heart to address and undress your stress. While you listen for and feel the regular lub-dub, lub-dub beat of your heart, you are not thinking about your stressors. Your heart reminds you of the present.
- When you balance your nervous system, you change your chemistry. Have you ever paused to consider that the effects of the chemicals you secrete. It's quite marvelous. You are like your own pharmaceutical dispensing agency - think cortisol, adrenaline, oxytocin, dopamine, etc. Too much, not enough, just right. Different chemicals have different side-effects. You feel your best when you are functioning just-right for you. When the stress response is triggered, you don't feel right, whether it be emotionally, mentally and/or physically. A balanced nervous system means that you feel balanced; you have better control of your emotions, including the ability to assess the situations in which you find yourself. This allows you to respond in a more appropriate manner.
Here's what you can do:
- Place your hand over your heart, right in the middle of your chest. Close your eyes. Notice how you are breathing. Feel the beating of your heart. Repeat, often. Don't be fooled by its simplicity. The force is within you.
- Notice when you are feeling out of sorts. What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, feel?
- Notice when you are feeling just-right. What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste, feel?
- Take a five hour (once weekly) coaching program that empowers you to make better choices. Not only do you learn how to address and undress your stress, you also gain invaluable performance enhancing strategies, which include mindfulness, and wait for it...patience!