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Why Patience Pays (and how to get more of it) Part Four

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

This is the final week in the series, so far we have covered:

 

  • The intimate relationship between patience and anger
  • Symptoms of impatience
  • Finding your triggers
  • The psychological impact of losing patience and its consequences
  • The psychological impact of having more patience

 

This week we continue to examine how we can all cultivate more patience.

 

Meditate

 

Mindfulness meditation teaches us to appreciate the present moment non-judgmentally and gives us a sense of contentment and peace , naturally cultivating more patience. Try these nifty exercises to become more mindful in your daily life:

 

The Three Minute Breathing Space

 

Sit in an upright position with a straight posture. Breath in and out slowly, your belly rising on the in-breath. Examine your body sensations from your toes to your head. What emotions are present? What thoughts are you aware of?

 

Return your focus to your breathing. Feel your stomach rise slowly on the in-breath and fall on the out breath.

 

Become aware of the entirety of your body and the sensations within it whilst slowly inhaling and exhaling.

 

Compassionate Mindfulness

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Why Patience Pays (and how to get more of it) Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored the psychological impact of losing patience and its consequences. This week we explore the psychological impact of having more patience and examine how we can begin to cultivate more.

 

The psychological impact of having more patience

 

When we have more patience we are more calm, less anxious and generally happier and more content. Whilst there are many psychological benefits to being more patient, I have explored the main benefits below.

 

Improved relationships

 

When we are more patient our relationships flourish. Rather than being irritable we are accommodating and calm. There is much less potential for conflict and our relationships are more harmonious as a result.

 

Realistic expectations of yourself and others

 

When we are more patient we have more realistic expectations of ourselves and others, helping to combat perfectionistic tendencies and thinking.

 

For example, if I always carry out others requests of me straight away because I am a perfectionist, practicing patience will help me realize that I work differently to others and that this is not necessarily better or worse – just different. Likewise, I may begin to realize that my perfectionism and self-imposed expectations are unrealistic and perhaps even unhealthy.

 

Increased self-esteem

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Why Patience Pays (and how to get more of it) Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we looked at the intimate relationship between patience and anger, the symptoms of impatience and finding your triggers. This week we explore the psychological impact of losing patience and its consequences.

 

The psychological impact of losing patience and its consequences

 

When we lose patience we invariably suffer with the difficult and uncomfortable emotions of frustration, stress and anger. Indeed, with so many negative emotions associated with a lack of patience, it’s surprising we don’t prioritize overcoming impatience more.

 

In reality though, I think the impatience evident in those who are actively working to overcome it is a testimony to how challenging cultivating more patience can be. I also believe that all too often we resign ourselves to having to be a slave to our emotions but fear not – this needn’t be the case!

 

Frustration

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Under Construction – New Website On The Way! (but don’t worry, I’m keeping the address)

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Some of you may have noticed that posts have been reduced to only the Monday series articles. In truth there are several reasons, some of which I shall share with you and others which I’m sure, given time, I will write about. I have had a very tough start to 2017, as my dog, Rusty, died from kidney failure. He was my baby and with me since the age of nineteen. I grew up with him and when he passed I felt like he took a bit of me with him. It was my first experience of death as an adult and a very difficult time. Thankfully my faith saw me through and was such a source of strength.

 

Then around a month ago I had difficulty in one of my close relationships, this has subsided however the healing process is ongoing – though I am now confident enough to say the relationship is on the right path once again. During these trials the one thing I can honestly say I’ve missed is connecting and sharing life with you all. Although I didn’t take the decision to cut back on my writing commitments lightly, I knew that I would not have been living in alignment with my values or therapy had I not followed stress management 101 – reduce demands and increase resources.

 

And now for my exciting announcement – Accessible Psychology is getting a complete redesign!

 

Don’t worry I’m keeping the web address however pretty much everything else will be new and improved. One of the main reasons for the redesign is that…

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Why Patience Pays (and how to get more of it) Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

When I was growing up I was incredibly impatient. Minutes seemed like hours and hours like years. Into my teens and early twenties I shunned patience in favor of instant gratification. Therapy forced me to be patient; patient with unraveling the years of trauma that had accumulated and patient with my recovery.

 

In this series I will explore what patience really is, how it can benefit us and reveal ten ways to foster more patience, some which I plan to do as a result of the research I conducted for this article and others which have been highly successful in my cultivating more patience thus far.

 

The intimate relationship between patience and anger

 

Naturally, when we lose patience we get angry, which inevitably affects our relationships and all round quality of life. To avoid getting to the stage where you become irritable and even angry as a result of impatience, stay tuned, as later in the series we will be covering how to actively cultivate more patience.

 

Interestingly however, no matter what the cause of our anger, cultivating patience when we are experiencing anger has a drastically positive effect on our relationships and emotional well being.

 

Practicing patience when angry…

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Strategies to Stop Procrastination Sabotaging Your Goals (and life in general) Part Four

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we delved into the many benefits of overcoming procrastination and covered real, practical steps to make procrastination a thing of the past. This week we conclude the series by looking at how to incorporate a reward system for doing tasks, looks at the advantages of having an ‘accountability buddy’ and explain how we can effectively visualize.

 

Positive reinforcement

 

Try giving yourself incentives to finish tasks, things that you will find enjoyable and genuinely consider treats. This will replace the immediate benefit and feel good hormones associated with procrastination and in time will re-train your brain to be more inclined to get things done.

 

Negative reinforcement

 

If positive reinforcement doesn’t work try negative reinforcement – the act of taking away something bad such as having to do admin that can wait or tidying your room. Remember, don’t cancel doing anything that has an impending deadline or is an urgent task such as paying bills as this is just self-sabotaging.

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Strategies to Stop Procrastination Sabotaging Your Goals (and life in general) Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored the fears which can make our procrastination worse and examine how we can overcome them, this week we take a look at the many benefits of overcoming procrastination and will delve into some practical steps you can take to make procrastination a thing of the past.

 

The benefits of overcoming procrastination

 

Having lived most of my life as a chronic procrastinator I can testify to the benefits of overcoming procrastination. Take a look at the list below, do these stand out as significantly improving your quality of life? Would you like to see these same benefits in your life? Then read on…

 

  • Living without dreading how you will do the things needed to manage life well
  • Being confident in your ability to do difficult tasks
  • Being confident in your ability to achieve goals
  • Living in line with your ambitions
  • Increasing your productivity
  • Achieving goals!
  • Being able to fulfill your promises to others

 

Now list all the things that you want to do that if you didn’t procrastinate you could achieve and keep it somewhere you will see it every day.

 

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty of how we can overcome procrastination.

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Strategies to Stop Procrastination Sabotaging Your Goals (and life in general) Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored the science behind why we procrastinate, this week we look at the fears which can make our procrastination worse and examine how we can overcome them.

 

Almost all psychological causes of procrastination relate to fear, namely fear of success and fear of failure. Below are some examples of how our fears can manifest themselves consciously:

 

Fear of failure

 

  • Not knowing where to begin
  • Doubting your ability to do the task
  • Being overwhelmed by the size of the task
  • Being overwhelmed by the complexity of the task
  • Being intimidated by how little time you have to do the task (you feel you will fail anyway so don’t even try / delay working on it because it fills you with dread)

 

Fear of success

 

  • You feel too much pressure to continue performing well
  • You associate success with an undesirable personal quality (such as arrogance or pride)
  • You view success as complicating life
  • You view success as having more responsibility
  • You fear having success is temporary
  • You fear success because if you achieved it you would have too much to lose

 

How to overcome the fear of failure

 

I have struggled a lot with this one. The ‘aha’ moment came when I realized that by not trying I was making my fear of failure a self fulfilling prophesy. My thinking beforehand had been that if I didn’t try I wasn’t really failing because I could always rationalize that I didn’t really try. But the end result was always the same, the project, task or assignment would remain unfinished and I would have made no progress whatsoever. See below for practical solutions to the most common forms of a fear of failure.

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Strategies to Stop Procrastination Sabotaging Your Goals (and life in general) Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Procrastination has always been a huge issue in my life. When studying I would wait until the very last minute to start assignments, often missing deadlines as a result and at one point resulting in having to restart a course.  I remember the agony and devastation I felt when I considered myself a failure as a result of restarting my course. Fear of failure was one of my worst fears and, ironically, it was this very fear that caused my procrastination. These days I still struggle with procrastination, even although it may not seem obvious to others.

 

The main shift took place when I started keeping a diary and listing my to do items each day, a habit I got into shortly after beginning therapy. Indeed there were many habits I formed in therapy that, without my knowing it, made procrastination less of an issue in my life. Today I still psychologically resist doing tasks but rather than putting things off for days or even months I now take just a few hours before tackling items on my to do.

 

In this series I will examine the scientific and psychological research on procrastination and tell you the practical steps you can take to stop procrastinating – highly effective steps that have worked – even for a chronic procrastinator such as me.

 

But what is procrastination exactly? According to Wikipedia

 

“Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time. Sometimes, procrastination takes place until the “last minute” before a deadline. Procrastination can take hold on any aspect of life — putting off cleaning the stove, repairing a leaky roof, seeing a doctor or dentist, submitting a job report or academic assignment or broaching a stressful issue with a partner. Procrastination can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression and self-doubt.”

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Career In Action: The benefits of keeping an achievement and highlight diary

Although this is a great exercise to boost motivation and moral if you have decided to stay in your current job, you can do this exercise even if you adore your role, to ensure you remain happy and encouraged.

 

Each day at the end of the work day simply write down one achievement, however small, and one highlight, which could even be something like ‘I really connected and felt supported by Clive today at our work drinks’ – whatever has made your day just that little bit brighter.

 

Wishing you all a rewarding and fulfilling career,

 

x X x Jenny x X x

 

PS Stay tuned – our next hot topic is titled…

‘Strategies to Stop Procrastination Sabotaging Your Goals (and life in general)’

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