Do you sometimes struggle to be kind to yourself? Developing a sense of patience may be the solution. Learn how to be patient with yourself, and kindness will naturally follow.
How to Be Patient with Yourself
Are you trying to create a more peaceful life in your golden years? If so, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn how to give yourself a break. It’s easy to blame yourself when things go wrong or hold yourself to high standards that set you up to fail. Learning to be patient with yourself and reframing negative thoughts is a great way to improve your life.
Practice Kindness and Self-Forgiveness
To change your behavior, you have to change your way of thinking. Prioritize treating yourself kindly in every situation. Instead of defaulting to blaming yourself when things go wrong, try to reframe the situation more productively:
- When you feel impatient or irritated with yourself, remind yourself that you deserve compassion and kindness. People are allowed to make mistakes!
- Try to view the situation as objectively as possible. Is what you did or said that bad, or are you being too hard on yourself?
- If you are in a situation where you genuinely owe someone else an apology, don’t overdo it, and don’t beat yourself up. Be honest, own the mistake, and do your best to fix it.
- If you realize the situation is overblown or distorted in your head, think about why that may be and how you can avoid that reaction the next time. Journaling can be a helpful tool for this kind of reflection.
Practice Makes Perfect
Sometimes, being kind to yourself is easier said than done. You can have the best intentions in the world and still resort back to old habits when things get tough. Look for opportunities to practice patience in your day-to-day life:
- You can demonstrate the value of patience to yourself by practicing being patient with others. Slow down in conversations, and give the other person your full attention. If someone irritates you in a public place, give them the benefit of the doubt and let it go. Eventually, this will become your normal reaction for yourself, too.
- Remember that with any skill you’re learning for the first time, you need to practice it repeatedly to get it right. Instead of bullying yourself for slipping up, remind yourself that there’s always another chance to practice self-care and compassion.
- Keep a journal or mental catalog of times when you were successfully patient with yourself. Refer back to these items when you need encouragement. If you do it once, you can do it again!
Lower Your Stress Levels
When other things stress you out, it’s easy to take it out on yourself. Set yourself up for success by taking concrete steps to lower your stress levels:
- Take care of your health by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet. These basic things really do help your mental health.
- Try to avoid situations that lead to mental overload, such as multitasking. Focus on one thing at a time, and give yourself adequate time to accomplish it.
- Inventory the current stressors in your life. Is there anything you can do to improve or remove the stressor? If not, is there another way to handle it?
Now that you know how to be patient with yourself, it’s time to start practicing. What can you do today to show yourself some patience?
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