Simple ways to Remain Patient in Demanding Situations
A great philosopher once said,
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait, but it’s keeping a positive attitude while waiting.”
The thoughts and behaviors during our time of patience define our true character.
Keeping a positive mindset and being patient may prove to be difficult, especially in the midst of certain situations or when talking to certain people. But it is indeed possible by thinking about those individuals who have lived such a life.
Let’s understand the meaning of patience with one story.
Lord Buddha was once traveling with his disciple, Anand, through the forest. After walking for several hours, they decided to rest by a tree. Lord Buddha asked Anand to fetch some water to drink. Being a devoted disciple, Anand happily set off to search for water.
He saw a small fresh-water pond. Anand approached the pond and started skimming the top of the pond with a vessel to fill it up.
Just then, a bullock-cart passed nearby. Unfortunately, the wheel of the bullock-cart landed in the pond. This caused the dirt and sand to stir up from the bottom and mix with water. The water was now undrinkable.
Anand felt a bit dejected knowing that he would have to return without water. When he went back empty-handed, Lord Buddha asked for the water. Then, Anand Wait for the Dirt to Settle! replied, “There was a pond nearby. But just as I was collecting the water, a cart passed by and caused the water to become dirty and undrinkable. But please do not worry, there must be a river or lake further down, I will quickly fetch the water from there.”
Surprisingly, Lord Buddha told Anand, “I want you to go back to the same pond and retrieve the water from there.” This confused Anand. He was wondering why Lord Buddha made this specific request.
He knew that Lord Buddha would not randomly say such things, but that any request from Lord Buddha would have meaning. So, Anand put aside any thoughts of doubt and started walking towards the pond.
When he reached the pond, he saw a slight amount of dirt and sand still mixed with the water. Once again, he was unable to collect any drinking water. He returned again without any water.
Anand told Lord Buddha that the water was dirty and that he would quickly fetch water from another river or lake. But Lord Buddha again insisted, “No, I want you to get water from the pond.” Anand was very confused now and felt he was just wasting time. But, because Lord Buddha strongly insisted, he decided to go back to the pond. He made his way towards the pond for the third time now.
As he reached the pond, he saw the water was now clear! He skimmed the water with the vessel and fill it up. He quickly returned back with the water and gave it to Lord Buddha. Then, Anand bowed down and asked, “Why did you send me back to the same pond and how did you know that it would be clear?”
Lord Buddha laughed and replied, “I wanted to teach the virtue of patience. Even though the water was undrinkable, the dirt and sand eventually settle down to the bottom. All you needed to do was be patient. In the same way, problems in life are like such dirt. They can disturb your peace at any moment. In such times, if you impulsively react or respond without thinking, you may make the situation worse or quit together. But if you choose to remain patient and positive, you will see the problems slowly disappear.”
In life, we will encounter difficult problems or situations. Giving up, losing patience, or becoming frustrated will not solve anything and we may end up empty-handed at the end of the day. Remaining calm, poised, and cool-headed will enable us to think creatively and logically for the right solution.
We need to be patient physically, mentally, and vocally.
- Physical patience means to refrain from taking quick actions without thorough thought.
- Mental patience means to refrain from becoming upset or depressed by a difficult situation.
- Vocal patience means to refrain from initially speaking or using words judiciously when a conversation starts to transform into an argument.
When a demanding situation arises to test our patience, keeping an optimistic attitude and believing that everything is being controlled by God is the best way to remain patient.
The more we can develop such faith, the more we will be able to accept a situation and reap the benefits that come along with being patient. Finally, Anand was able to learn this valuable lesson because he had a saint like Lord Buddha in his life.
In the same way, if we have the association of a true saint/friend in our life, then He/She will guide us step-by-step and give us the wisdom and virtues to live a blissful life.
Simple ways to Remain Patient in Demanding Situations
- Take deep, slow breaths, and count to 10. Doing this helps slow your heart rate, relaxes your body, and emotionally distances you from the situation. If you’re feeling really impatient, you might need to do a longer count, or do this several times.
2. Remind yourself that your impatience rarely gets others to move faster and can lead to silly mistakes — in fact, it can interfere with other people’s ability to perform complex or highly-skilled work. All you are doing is creating more stress in an already stressful situation.
3. Make yourself speak and move more slowly. It will appear to others as if you’re calm — and, by “acting” patient, you can often “feel” more patient.
Slowing down while eating has great health benefits. It takes about 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness.
Recent studies in Japan concluded that eating more slowly results in feeling full sooner and thus eat fewer calories at mealtime. Moreover, individuals who eat meals very quickly are more likely to gain weight and develop health complications. So if you want to be fit, simply slow down!
Check out my other articles.
Wait for the Dirt to Settle!
Do I Have a True Friend in My Life?
Art of Communication
Reprogram Your Mind for Positivity
Power of Introspection