“Joey, finish your milk!” I shouted 10th time at 8:40 am. He has been sitting with a glass of milk for half an hour and his school starts in 5 mins. Of course, I was angry, upset and totally out of patience. This scenario happens in my home almost every day. Does it change the behaviour of my son? No, it really doesn’t. He still takes his own sweet time to enjoy his morning dose of milk. “I really feel like opening his mouth by force put in a funnel there so that I can empty that glass in 2 secs.” This thought is very frequent. But unfortunately (or fortunately) kids cannot be fed that way. I just explained a situation where I run out of patience almost every time. Because my 3.5-year-old son eats (and drinks) really slowly.
I was getting late for my gym. The workout class was scheduled at 6 am and they wouldn’t let me enter the class if I came in after 6:05 am. It was already 5:50 am and I had to drive 4 km. Now that’s not a challenge for most people, but for me it is. Because our basement parking is horrible and I am not a great driver. Well, getting worried that I will miss my workout I start the engine and start reversing the car. 5 mins gone by and I am still struggling to get it out. And then “bang”, I hit the pillar. There was a huge dent on the right side and the bumper broke. “How can you hit the car on the driver side?” my husband asked when he examined the damage. The only reply I had was “I was getting late!” Yet a typical example of me getting impatient. It would have saved me a hell of trouble (and money) if I would have taken 2 mins extra to call the watchman and help me in the situation. But did I do that? No, because 2 mins were too precious at that time.
I am sure all of us are aware of multiple such instances where losing patience has only resulted in anger, frustration and loss of time and money. It is not uncommon. People say Yoga (or something else) helps in reducing stress. But I believe the only thing that reduces stress is in responding to the situation than reacting to it.
My remedy for improving my patience is to do the following
- Recognize that I am getting angry because I am running out of patience.
- Close my eyes and take 5 deep breaths. Breaths that are really slow that I can feel the air going through my nostrils, in the throat and filling my lungs. Then all the way out.
- Open my eyes
- Decide the best way to deal with the situation.
- Deal with it.
It becomes difficult when in the nick of a time I close my eyes and start breathing slowly especially when I am getting late for something. But this needs to be done, because if I do anything else at all – it would only result in a loss for me. And that is the biggest part of self-awareness. Patience helps and it does help always. It helps in getting the work done, it helps in touching in people’s heart, it helps in keeping my BP, hormones, and cholesterol etc. levels in control. It helps in keeping me harmonized with nature. It is one remedy that always works.
A little secret – I still shout at my son for eating slowly. Having a remedy doesn’t work unless I implement it. But as long as I am on the right path – I don’t worry too much. I know you have such secrets too with this little saint named “Patience”. Patience is one virtue that can set things right in your life. So don’t resist the remedy, just apply it.