Finding Patience in the Real World

 In Focusing on the positive, Overwhelm

I was finally home after spending the entire day in meetings and driving for hours.  I was tired and impatient.  Impatient because there was no time to rest – we had company coming the next day and the house definitely needed some attention. I was trying hard to muster some energy and motivation to get myself moving. 

I was counting on my family to pitch in and help.  Yet when I checked on my daughter’s progress in cleaning her room, I found her playing instead.  My impatience kicked into major grumpiness.  “There’s no time to play! You’re suppose to be getting this room cleaned!”  She went from smiling and having fun to looking sad.  “Good job Mom!” I thought.  I didn’t need to snap at her like that!  One of my major goals in my personal life is to practice patience, especially with my daughter.  I blew it and now I felt even grumpier.

It’s easy to be kind, patient and compassionate when things are going well, when we’re rested and feel good, when we’re not stressed, when other people are kind, patient and compassionate.  But that’s not always the situation we’re in.  So how do we adapt to the real world?  This is where our willpower and resilience come in.  Studies have shown that training ourselves to focus more on the good and improving our positivity builds our internal resources.  We have a larger store of wellbeing and willpower to draw on so we have more patience, more capacity for kindness and can bounce back from the stresses of our life faster.

Since I’ve started on my own Path for Positivity, I’ve definitely noticed an improvement.  I wish that meant that I never lose my patience or say something I regret – I still do. But it does mean I’ve seen an improvement – I’ve found I recover much faster and can circle back to talk it through more calmly.  

Reflect on a time you lost your patience and did or said something you wished you could take back.  How quickly did you recover?  Were you able to revisit and talk it through?


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Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures. She is certified in Positive Psychology, an authorized partner for Everything DiSC®, and a Professional Member of the National Speaker’s Association.

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