During the lockdown, many of us were forced to change our routines, including me – busy weekends bursting with plans came to an abrupt stop, people had the chance to slow down and reflect, taking a 'walk not run' approach to life. But as things start to return to normal, busy is once again the new normal, and stress levels are beginning to creep back up.
It's a time of stress for everyone as COVID protocols continue. We've been forced to change our routines and take on new habits, and I have to remind myself that I am not alone, and everyone is struggling with change, additional rules, cleaning routines and PPE.
On the plus side, when you look for the positive, you might be surprised how much is out there. All over the world, I see the power of love, goodness, truth and freedom breakthrough like never before. There truly is a 'great awakening' happening.
A touch of patience could be the answer to reducing your stress levels.
The changes we have encountered this year have been life-changing for many of us. Standing in queues is a British tradition, one that both embraces and needs a certain amount of patience. But now we can get everything we need online, are we living in a world of instant gratification and losing the ability to be patient?
If you lack patience, you'll understand that feeling that rises inside when something doesn't go according to plan – whether it's a slow driver making you late, a toddler throwing a tantrum, or tech issues at work. But can you learn to control this emotion and improve your health and happiness?
Patience is a virtue.
According to Jacqueline Harvey, an NLP expert, "Impatience belongs to the family of anxiety and stress, which can get out of control if we don't learn to manage it."
Just like stress and anxiety, this can cause you to feel drained and become internally unhappy. Learning to be more patient allows you to face the challenges that life throws at us, and helps you to overcome them. You might even become more accepting of the outcomes and consequences.
The problem is that today's modern living actually encourages impatience on many levels. The more technology has changed and developed, the more we can see instant results. We no longer want to wait for something to happen. We have forgotten the art of slowing down, letting things happen naturally and appreciating the world around us. So how can we learn to check our impatience and become better at waiting for something to happen at the right time? Here are three tips to get you started.
Think about what you have control over: It's often the thought that things are out of our control that creates stress and anxiety – and the same is true when looking at the reasons behind our impatience. Impatience is often directed on other people delivering (or sometimes not delivering) things on time. But if you concentrate on the things that you can change, instead of the things you can't, you will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Practice positivity: it's amazing how much a positive mindset can change the way you approach events, and so it's a good idea to start each day with an upbeat outlook. By doing this, and envisioning how your day is going to pan out, you are getting yourself in the right frame of mind. Then, if a curveball comes your way, you can see it as a challenge that can be overcome and focus on finding a solution, instead of getting impatient about the problem. You could try making a list of positive outcomes that will happen even if you don't get what you are waiting for – this is a great way to look at the brighter side of the situation and reduce the stress of impatience.
Breathe: Taking the time to take five deep breaths three times a day will help you to slow down and appreciate what you have. Focus on something that makes you smile. It works wonders for resetting your mind and get you back into thinking positively.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience” - Ralph Waldo Emerson