We all know being patient is a virtue and is a trait that’s highly underrated — but we get that it might not be your strongest trait but, like any skill, it can be learned and cultivated.

Defined by the Merriam-Webster as “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint, manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain, not being hasty or impetuous, steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity,” patience is an invaluable practice worth learning because it saves you from making irrational decisions, helps you manage and understand your feelings in a trying situation, and is the key to success in relationships and work.

While learning to become a more patient person can be difficult, we’ve put together a few easy tips to help you maximize the time before you react.

Pay attention to your emotions. Taking a second to recognize what you’re feeling and why is key. Whether it’s anger, fear, frustration, happiness, or excitement, take note. Becoming aware of your emotions is the first step to being able to steer them from negative to positive.

Be grateful and mindful. The next time you’re in traffic, instead of getting frustrated or having your mind jump to a million things you have to do, notice your thought pattern and slow it down. Instead of succumbing to stress over things you have no control over, think about what you’re grateful for. The long-term benefits of this extend beyond patience.

Welcome uncomfortable situations. Learn to be comfortable outside of your comfort zone. Instead of rushing to get back into familiar situations, embrace what you’re feeling, learn, and grow as a result. Avoiding discomfort means remaining stagnant.

Take deep breaths. Slowing down your breath, and being conscious of each inhale and exhale, will automatically help you relax. Taking the time to simply focus on your breath each day is an easy tool to help you cultivate patience.

Resist your natural impulse. Instead of getting angry when something goes wrong, try and figure out how to solve the problem in front of you. For the most part, irritation, hatred, or outrage comes from within. While it’s easier to blame external factors when we lash out, it’s really our brains that trigger certain emotions. Being present and finding the cause of what’s making you angry leads to being a less reactionary person.

xx, The FabFitFun Team