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Life’s annoyances and challenges require that we practice patience. But the speed of life often wears our patience thin. Patience is essential because it gives us self-control, helps us be more loving, and achieve what we want. Like a muscle, patience can be strengthened with regular exercise. The right attitude and a little practice captures the power of patience. Read on to learn more.

Study what triggers your impatience. Notice what happens just before you’re ready to blow.

Notice how impatience feels. Identify your own feelings of annoyance or irritation. Find a way to counteract your feelings. For example, breathe slowly or tell yourself, “I have plenty of time.”

Discover ways to slow yourself down. Patience comes with a much slower, even pace.

Laugh at the situation. Find the humor in what is often a ridiculous situation.

Think about all you have accomplished when you are feeling overwhelmed. Don’t focus merely on what remains to be done. Ask for help.

Count to ten. If that doesn’t work, count to 100.

Put a pebble in your pocket. When you find yourself getting anxious, move the pebble to the other pocket. Continue moving it from one to the other to interrupt the cycle of your anxiety.

Take daydream trips. When you must wait, visualize the most peaceful place you can. See and feel yourself there.

Take a moment to notice three breaths at a stoplight or when the phone rings. Notice how your breath comes and goes without trying to change it.

Reduce or swear off caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make us nervous, edgy, and jittery.

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