Patience in a time of uncertainty

Patience in a time of uncertainty

Wednesday, 07 December 2022

When life throws curve balls, we may find ourselves becoming impatient, wanting life to return to the way it was. We might want things to progress more quickly, or at least know what’s going to happen next.

There are times when our lives can take unexpected turns.

You or a family member may lose your job, illness might challenge your expectations of yourself or something you were looking forward to doesn’t work out the way you anticipated.

Unusual circumstances can cause feelings of impatience and stress to increase. You may find yourself overthinking things, feeling easily irritated by others, or less like yourself. Everyday problems can seem harder to solve.

Feeling impatient

Write down what is making you feel impatient. This can help slow you down and focus.

Developing patience

Patience is a skill that needs practice. But, it can give you the freedom to feel content, even when it seems the world is toying with you. Patience can transform restlessness and frustration into a sense of spaciousness and curiosity.

It takes time to learn and feel the benefits of slowing down by choice. And of course, we need to be gentle with ourselves in the process.

Dealing with uncertainty

Here are some useful tips to help us during heightened times of uncertainty:

  • Write down what is making you feel impatient. This can help you slow down and focus on one task at a time. It also gives you a list of areas ready for practice!
  • Check in with how you’re feeling physically. Are you tense, breathing shallowly, clenching parts of your body? Where exactly? Focus on those sensations as closely as you can. Breathe into the tension. You might just feel your body start to relax.
  • Use your breath. Have you caught yourself ranting in your head about our current situation? Pause for a moment, and take deep breaths. Are you rushing around or trying to hurry things up? Feeling impatient while standing in a long queue at the shop? Focus on your breath, smile and connect to the moment.
  • Be proactive. Maybe you have things you need to do, like studying or housework. Balance these with things you enjoy doing. Being active, making loved ones laugh, playfully being in nature, spending time with animals, gardening, cooking, reading, drawing, journaling, singing, or dancing. Whatever makes your soul sing, do more of that.
  • Do not feel ashamed of your worries. Talk to someone you trust like a friend or family member. You could also look at different ways to connect with a professional. Take heart. We will get through this together.
  • Keep in mind that this will pass. One of the few certainties in life is that things change. We will not be in this forever.

Uncertainty is inevitable

Despite our best efforts, there will always be things outside our control. Uncertainty is inevitable in life. How about using the current period of uncertainty to practice patience and acceptance?

Control what you can and relinquish the rest. Remember, when we’re unsure about what our future holds, it does not mean we’re heading somewhere undesirable.

We can focus on everything that could go wrong, or we can focus on what could go right. Acknowledge what is working well.

Being curious about unexpected new directions can transform our negative thinking. This, in turn, will reduce our levels of stress and anxiety.

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