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“Patience is a form of wisdom. Sometimes things must unfold in their own time.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

As the year 2020 inches to a close, we are asked again and again to be patient—for delayed packages to arrive, for the vaccine to be widespread, for reunions with friends and family members, for overseas travel to resume, for the world to open back up.

Research published on a Berkeley site shows that patient people enjoy better mental health, make better friends, make more progress toward their goals (plus feel more satisfied when they reach them) and feel less stress, which benefits overall health. On the other hand, “research has found that those who exhibit impatience and irritability—characteristics of the Type A personality—tend to have more health complaints and worse sleep.”

So how do we gain this patience? Finding the positives can help. With my sons home from college, we’ve enjoyed more time to cook together and play board games. Practicing gratitude promotes patience, too. When we’re appreciating what we have, we’re not focusing on what’s missing. And, of course, mindfulness supports patience: When we’re meditating, journaling or engaging in another flow-state activity, we immerse ourselves in the present rather than dwelling on the past or future.

Sunday Journal Prompt

What flow-state activity helps you practice patience? How can you incorporate it into your life this week?


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