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Patience is a Virtue

A man waiting with a an alarm clock

Patience is a Virtue

As we are currently in the process of launching an all-new website for Morter HealthSystem, we are finding that taking this little trip into “new” is not without its challenges. Starting something new or working with something you are unfamiliar with – getting out of your comfort zone – is a process requiring patience, which is somewhat of a quiet virtue. Certainly not as exciting as courage and compassion on the main stage, patience means just being able to wait calmly in the face of frustration or adversity.

But, as quiet as it seems, patience is essential to a happy, healthy life. According to a 2007 study by Fuller Theological Seminary professor, Sarah A Schnitker, and UC Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons, patient people tend to experience less depression and negative emotions, perhaps because they can cope better with upsetting or stressful situations. They also rate themselves as more mindful and feel more gratitude, more connection to mankind and to the universe, and a greater sense of abundance.

Sounds like how we all would like to be, right? But, what if you find yourself being very impatient either with a situation, a person or just with your inability to figure out some aspect of new technology? How can you find that oh-so healthy and virtuous state of patience then?

Here are a few suggestions when you find yourself frustrated and impatient:

  1. Take a time-out and do the Morter March. When you do this exercise while being thankful and grateful for all that you have you are, in effect, helping to give your brain the neurological upgrade it needs toward a more mindful and peaceful state of patience. Go to for free video instruction on how to do this powerful work.
  2. Consciously reframe the situation. Feeling impatient is not just an automatic emotional response; it involves conscious thoughts and beliefs. If a colleague is late to a meeting, you can fume about their lack of respect, or see those extra 15 minutes as an opportunity to get some reading done. How you see things and react to them is up to you.
  3. Practice gratitude. If we are thankful for what we have today, we’re not desperate for more stuff or better circumstances immediately. It is easier to practice patience and delayed gratification because we are already thankful and grateful for what we have and where we are.