Patience and Mindfulness

Patience is one of the most underestimated keys to practicing mindfulness and it is one of the most important attitudes to cultivate if we are going to have any success in self regulating and managing our emotions and thoughts.

It is not difficult to be mindful of stressful feelings due to the high demands life throws at us. The question is how long can we observe these feelings until the acuteness of them has subsided. How long does it take until we gain perspective and approach our issues from a new space and not out of fear and anxiety.

For instance noticing the knot in you’re stomach you get when confronted with an envelope in the letter box which you know is another bill you don’t know how to pay. Is a great example of a moment we can practice mindfulness. But does momentarily becoming aware of that stress do anything?

It certainly doesn’t pay the bills!

The answer is patience and unfortunately that doesn’t pay the bills either.

BUT!! patience gives us the staying power we need to continuously view stressful feelings so they don’t overwhelm us. By observing and turning our attention to these feeling we disengage our thinking which further fuels our stress levels because we know that thoughts produce emotions. Patience is the remedy to the fire of re-activeness and patience give us the space to respond to our circumstances rather than react to them.

But practicing patience is easier said than done, having the ability to stay with that knot in you’re stomach isn’t pleasant. Sitting with you’re doubts and vulnerabilities when you don’t have the answers to you’re problems is tuff! there’s no two ways about it.

But if we have the intention to not only be mindful but to have patience to stay with what we are observing stress reduction is not far away.

Mindfulness and the body

Becoming mindful of the body is a great way to begin our mindfulness journey and as as long as we are not in chronic pain the sensations or feelings we experience in the body are very consistent and are not as dynamic as emotions or thoughts.

The body becomes a great starting point when we are trying to develop a non judgmental observation of what is arising in this moment. Thoughts and emotion have beliefs and values associated with them so we can understand why imposing a non judgmental approach to these two aspects of our humanity can be difficult in the beginning.

Mindfulness of the body is a great way to observe our subtle attitudes to perceived frustrating or enjoyable sensations. It give us opportunities to practice acceptance on the superficial level the body. For example beginning to accept the feeling of a headache or the pins and needles of a foot that has ‘fallen asleep’ can be a lot more digestible than accepting ones anxieties and limiting beliefs one has of themselves.

Mindfulness of the body starts us on the road to acceptance and equanimity