What to Do When You Run Out of Patience?

cars backed up on highways
Thank you, Ri Butov from Pixabay for allowing me to use this great photo.

“What to Do When You Run Out of Patience?” by Joan Y. Edwards

June Baker, a long time subscriber, asked me to write an article on patience. If you’re like me, patience is something you lack once in a while.

1. So you’re on your way to an appointment. You left a little later than you planned. Traffic is piled up more than usual. You caught every red light. They were doing road construction. The little man with the red stop sign kept you hostage for 5 minutes. If you open your window, you are afraid that your patience will fly right out the window. Is there enough patience to get you through all this?

2. Your spouse’s paycheck is cut 50% this month because of a foul up in the computer system. They plan to fix it but it will be a week before the extra money comes in. You have a mortgage payment and a car payment that are due. The school called and your youngest child has thrown up and is running a fever.  You drive to the school and pick your child up and you have a flat tire on the way home. Is there enough patience to get you through all this?

3. Your child has a math problem you are clueless how to solve. Another child waited until the night before to tell you that she needs a costume for a play at school the next day. Your older child calls from the gym and has broken his leg. Is there enough patience to get your through all this?

4. One more scenario. You are cooking supper for a special friend. You put the meat in the oven. You get distracted and don’t set the timer. When you get back in the kitchen to check on the meat, it is burnt beyond the possibility of eating it. You still have a great salad. Is there enough patience to get your through all this?

Do you spend all evening beating yourself up?
Do you laugh and relax because you know everyone makes mistakes some worse than yours? Do you realize that no one is perfect? No one can master handling every problem with finesse and patience.

Here’s the secret to patience.

Take a deep breath. Breathe in patience. Breathe out anxiety. Breathe in patience. Breathe out self-doubt. Breathe in love. Breathe out judgment. Breathe in patience.

Relinquish the want or need to control. Accept that situations may be as you hoped and expected. But, also accept that situations may not turn out as you hoped or expected. You are not in control of all situations. You can monitor and control your reactions.

Relinquish the idea that you should be perfect. I know from personal experience that is not humanly possible. But realize that you come pretty close most of the time. Some days, give you a little trouble, but not all days.

Doing the following things will help you have patience:

  1. Eat well.

  2. Get plenty of sleep.

  3. Do  ten minutes of exercise each day.

  4. Encourage someone in person, on the phone, or by email.

  5. Ask God to help you.

Repeat one of these affirmations for 21 days. Put the one you choose on a 3×5 index card. Tape it to your computer or bathroom mirror.

I have an abundance of patience.
Today I have enough patience.
Tomorrow I will have an abundance of patience.
I choose to have enough patience today.

Here are things you can do to help you build patience:

  1. Pray and ask God for more patience.

  2. Work puzzles: crossword, word search, jigsaw

  3. Start out 15 minutes earlier for an appointment.

  4. Take a breather between activities.

  5. Take time to rest, breathe, and do your research before making long-term decisions.

  6. Find a different way to handle a situation so you don’t stress out about it.

  7. Go fishing.

What should you do when you have an anxiety attack when you have no patience at all. Say, “I am fine the way I am right now. I am good and worthy right now. I have enough patience for every situation I am in.”

Thank you, June Baker for suggesting this topic. I hope my ideas and those in the resources help you.

Thank you for reading my post. I wish you luck in gaining trust that you have enough patience for every situation you are in. Please write and tell me how you gain patience.  How do you accept yourself as you are?


Greg Bell. “Strategies for Increasing Patience:” https://www.gregbellspeaks.com/blog/strategies-for-increasing-patience

Melissa Eisler. “7 Strategies to Build and Improve Patience:” https://melissaeisler.com/improve-patience/

Cleveland Clinic. “7 Tips for Better Patience:”  https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-tips-for-better-patience-yes-youll-need-to-practice/


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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2022 Joan Y. Edwards

6 thoughts on “What to Do When You Run Out of Patience?”

  1. Thank you Joan. Some of those scenarios would be enough to try a saint, never mind a poor little apprentice Buddha.

    But my tool for handling such things comes from the real one.

    I am in a situation that is painful (in some way, or any way). If I want to be out of that situation, I now have two painful things.

    If I can simply accept that this is painful, and it is OK for it to be painful, then I am not suffering.

    Only, I usually put this to myself like this: “For sure, I’ll miss this appointment, and so probably not get the job. Oh well, it’s probably not fatal, and even if it is, you got to die of something! Why not missed appointments?”


  2. Dear Bob,
    I pray that you come to a decision in which case you will be in less pain than before. At least the agony of a decision hanging over your head will be gone, right?

    Accepting things as they are is difficult at times. But, it seems essential for changing them.

    I am praying that you come to a decision that you like.
    Thank you for subscribing to my blog since 2010!

    Never Give Up

  3. Great topic and great suggestions. Thanks Joan. Here are a few more suggestions for coping in those terrible situations such as a broken car on the way home after a terrible day loading with tired kids. How about counting to ten then counting to ten again especially if you are dealing with a child or an adult in a caregiving situation and they have diminished mental abilities. Count your blessing-everyone has some-for example you are alive! Maybe the temporary pain is reminding you that you are alive! Use your imagination to go to your happy place like the beach.

    1. Dear Maureen,
      Thank you for writing. Thank tou for suggesting the idea if counting to ten and then counting to ten again when you think you are running out of patience. You are right❤️. The people we are interacting with may need us to be more patient and understanding with them.

      Believe in you and your ability to handle things well.
      Never Give Up

  4. Great ideas for handling tough situations! I love the breathing exercises especially. I’m going to pass them on to my hubby who gets quite stressed at work and sometimes brings it home. I’ve suggested breathing techniques, but these have an added layer I like. So thank you! 🙂

    1. Dear Shawn,
      Thank you very much for writing. I am glad that you believe my breathing techniques will help your hubby. I hope so. What makes them different from other breathing techniques?

      Never Give Up

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