How many times have you been on your way home and need to stop at the grocery store? The lines are long and you always avoid the store at this time. You are already disturbed because you don’t want to be there in the first place. Then, the checkout clerk has to do a price check for the customer in front of you. Three customers behind you have a screaming toddler. You are losing your patience when you learn that the clerk’s first day is also today. We have the control to reign in our emotions at anytime. Here are three ways that will help you the next time you want to storm out of the store.
1. Take Deep Breaths
While the heart rate is up, it is important to realize that your heightened emotions are a symptom of that. Breathing deeply from your abdomen is not even recognizable. If you patience is about completely gone, close your eyes. Abdominal breathing has been proven to reduce any feelings of agitation. While it may feel impossible to close your eye and mindfully breathe in the moment, taking this conscious step will help you in that next situation where you are going to explode or say something that you won’t be able to take back. Your breath is with you always and is the best mood stabilizer you should ever need.
2. Don’t Place Blame on Anyone
Usually when we are late, we try to blame the traffic, the Uber driver or a phone mishap. When you find yourself feeling impatient, don’t place blame on anyone, including yourself. It is no one’s fault that it is raining outside or that some people take longer to do things than others. When we try to place blame, we are trying to focus all of that negative energy on someone or something. Normally, it is unwarranted because no one is at fault. Evaporate that energy completely by placing compassion where the blame wants to go. This will go a long way especially with the children crying and the cash registers with all their different alerts and sounds feeling like they are piercing your skull.
3. Focus on Gratitude
While you are at the grocery store there are many families that are struggling to make ends meet. Even if waiting in line for a really long time is annoying, start being thankful for all of the little things that allow you to be in the store in the first place. Boredom is a devil’s den. When we get bored we forget the very things that are at our fingertips all the time. We take for granted that our job is going well. So, in our routines we need to allow time as a varying factor. An extra 10 minutes at the store means an extra ten minutes to reflect on our day or let go of the negative energy we collected at work. Being grateful is one of the best superpowers in combating negative emotions and feelings.
You have tools that are free at your fingertips all the time to prevent emotions of impatience. Realizing that this feeling of impatience is a choice, sometimes helps people discover that there are other choices that could be made. When we can do that at any point at any time, there is a radical shift in the compassion to others. Maybe next time you get frazzled at the store because of some small children, you’ll ask that mom that is panicked over pissing everyone off if she needs help with the child or in general.