WORDS by Stacey Colthup

We live in a world where everything is instant. From instant coffee and instant messaging, to now even ‘instant romance’ with the popular dating app, Tinder. We're used to having what we want, when we want it. But is this modern, instantaneous way of living making us less patient, and more discontented?

I struggle with patience on a daily basis. I get fidgety when my meal takes too long to be bought to the table. I become annoyed when there are slight delays of travel on the train. I don’t even bother waiting if there is a line up to get into a bar. And I even get impatient thinking about my future! Does this sound all too familiar? Our constant demand for ‘instant’ has undoubtedly turned us all into hot heads when it comes to waiting for even the smallest of things.

Here’s five simple ways we can all learn to slow the rush and master the art of patience:

 1. Recognise When You’re Being Impatient

Sounds simple, but do you actually realise when you’re being impatient and how you’re reacting (or overreacting) to a situation? Impatience arises as a response to not getting what you want immediately, and the ability to turn it down starts with recognising when you’re about to lose your cool and what your triggers are.

 2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

The next time you realise your impatient levels are creeping up, stop and ask yourself if the situation is urgent, or if it’s just momentarily annoying. Will this thing that seems like the end of the world (like waiting for the jug to boil when you’re cooking pasta!) matter tomorrow? Will it even matter in 10 minutes time? Of course it won’t … You’ll be licking the creamy carbonara from you lips in 10 minutes!

 3. Some Things You Just Have to Wait For!

There are some situations where you just have to wait and losing your cool won’t do any good. Shouting obscenities because you’re stuck in traffic won’t do any good because you’re already stuck in it. Continuously pressing the button at the traffic lights won’t do any good, because you’ve already pressed it (but I was making sure!). Realise that sometimes there’s just no getting out of waiting!

4. Kill the Time!

If you can feel your impatient thermostat about to blow, instead of boiling to breaking point why not use the time more wisely? Waiting in a line; message that friend you haven’t replied to yet. Waiting for your computer to reboot; tidy your desk or make a cuppa. Waiting for your freshly painted nails to dry? OK this one is just impossible, permission to explode!

5. Live in the Now

Sometimes we can become so worked up waiting for something to happen, we miss out on the excitement leading up to it. Instead of focusing on when he might ask you out, enjoy the nervous anticipation. Instead of focusing on when you’ve reached a personal goal, enjoy the successes you’ve already had along the way. Learn to live in the now and revel in the wait!

Mastering the art of patience is no small feat. It’s like any other life skill you’re trying to develop. It takes time, practice and ironically … a lot of patience! Good luck on your own journeys to mastering patience - I know I still have a long way to go!

Are you impatient, and if so what are your triggers?

WORDS BY:  Stacey Colthup

Stacey grew up on a farm in rural Australia, and has spent the past few years working in the bright lights of London while travelling the world. Stacey now calls Brisbane home, and spends her time writing to scratch her creative ‘itch’. Stacey is known for her short attention span, her (unintentional) loud laugh, and is most comfortable when she’s wearing her ugg boots.