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It’s not about developing patience. It’s about letting go of impatience.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

Impatience can arise. In fact, it will almost inevitably arise in your Headspace session at some stage or another. It's not that you're doing anything wrong and it's not that things are necessarily moving particularly slowly. It's just the nature of the mind to experience impatience sometimes. I know I talk about this in quite a few of the different guides, but it's worth saying. It's not really about sort of developing more patience, it's more about letting go of impatience. Once we understand how that works and the role of impatience, then it becomes something really useful, and all of a sudden it's no longer an obstacle. It's a reminder, it's a reminder to be present, to let go. So if we start from the place that patience is an innate quality of mind. So it's with us all the time. And we only tend to kind of notice the counterpoint. We tend not to notice so much when we're being patient. We tend to notice when we're impatient. So we don't need to try to be more patient. We simply have to be a little less impatient. And we can only do that when we see the mind clearly, when we see the way the mind is behaving. So during the session, doesn't matter what the impatience is about. The impatience might be, "Oh, come on, Andy, stop talking so much, like let's just get on with the practice." Or it might be, you know, being impatient 'cause we've gotta, I don't know, go and do something in the house or we need to kind of get out to work, whatever it might be. Or it might just be a broader impatience, perhaps looking for what we perceive to be more progress in our practice. Whatever the impatience is, that is only a thought. We tend to think of impatience as something more as a thought, more than a thought, maybe even an emotion, kind of. Perhaps it sometimes has like a physical aspect as well. But impatience is really just a series of thoughts. We want life to be a certain way. Life is behaving in a slightly different way, so we have what we think life should be and what life is. And the difference between the two is normally equal to our level of impatience. Once we see that clearly, then we're able to let go of what we think life should be and instead be a little more comfortable where we are. So whether we call it a reduction in the amount of impatience or a greater amount of patience or a greater amount of acceptance, it's really just this idea of not chasing, grasping after something, instead letting go. And when we let go, we naturally feel a greater sense of patience in both the body and in the mind. And the knock-on effect outside of our practice, of course, is how that relates to those around us and to our relationships. Not...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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