Proven Ways to Be More Patient with Yourself (and Others) Starting Now

Getting to the “Other Side” of Your Frustration

Have you ever been in the midst of a particularly stressful moment (Computer not cooperating? Flat tire? Holiday shopping at the mall, on a weekend?) and someone took the time to help you calm down and solve a problem? It can truly feel like that person was sent down, from the heavens, to guide you safely to the “other side” of your panic and frustration.

Though the ability to be patient is a highly valued attribute in others, patience and mindfulness remain elusive skills for most of us who have jobs, families…lives here on planet Earth. Frustration, and the anger that can follow, is a fact of life for every human being. This does NOT mean we’re bad or flawed people⸺it means we have work, families, important stuff to do! We have a lot on our plates, and we tend to prioritize others ahead of ourselves, especially during the holidays, so it’s no wonder we don’t have much time to devote to becoming more patient.

But health experts and research have confirmed that being more patient can significantly benefit our individual health and wellbeing. Practicing patience can also improve our work and communities; it impacts everything we touch and every part of our lives.

Not long after tackling a particularly stressful session of holiday shopping this year, I was lucky enough to chat with Dr. Bernard Golden, author of the book Overcoming Destructive Anger: Strategies That Work, about how impatience can harm us, and how we can better manage it without becoming overwhelmed by the process.

“Patience is key to resilience and a major component of emotional and physical well-being,” Golden notes. “It entails developing skills in self-soothing and calming when facing situations that frustrate us. Whether based on realistic or unrealistic expectations, impatience can lead to feelings such as anxiety and anger and the physiological responses that accompany them. These may include increased levels of cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. Unfortunately, elevated levels of cortisol contribute to a suppressed immune system and increased blood pressure and blood glucose levels.”

The good news, Golden says, is that we can develop new habits to increase our patience. Some of the strategies he recommends center around breathing (which we just happen to be old pros at!).

“Such practices offer a constructive way of dealing with daily challenges, whether standing in line at the supermarket, inching along on a congested highway, waiting for lab results regarding a medical test, or waiting for a response to a text,” he suggests.

The following are several practices that Golden recommends to help cultivate patience:

  1. Engage in deep breathing. For 3-4 breaths, focus attention on slowly and deeply inhaling and exhaling. Spend ⅓ of the time focused on inhaling and ⅔’s time on exhaling. This has been found to be the most effective pattern to promote physical calmness. However, it is just the first step.

  2. Then relax your breathing, noticing the air entering and leaving your nostrils, or the rise and fall of your chest. This is the focus of attention in many forms of mindfulness meditation.

  3. Practice body relaxation exercises that might include a body scan and progressive relaxation. These practices increase body awareness and serve as rehearsal for evoking calmness when you experience the first signs of impatience.

  4. Distinguish between realistic and unrealistic expectations. Most importantly, recognize when some of your expectations may be based on your emotional brain in the form of hopes and wishes. For example, you may know that traffic is congested during the rush hour, yet still expect the roads to be clear.

  5. Focus attention on observing through all of your senses, when caught up in the throes of impatience. Focusing on observing competes with thinking. It forces us to be in the moment rather than think about what we believe “should” be happening. Notice the sights around you, the people, objects, colors, and shape and composition of objects. Listen to sounds, feel your feet against the ground, your hands on the steering wheel, or your butt on a seat. Feel the air against your face and hands, and notice whether it is cold or warm.

  6. Golden has coined the acronym BEAR as a way of responding to frustration:

 

B – Breathe deeply

 

E – Evoke physical calmness based on practicing body relaxation exercises

 

A – Arouse compassionate internal dialog, i.e. “This is difficult.” “This is what it feels like to feel impatience.” “This is just a feeling and–like all feelings–is temporary and will pass.” Or “I know this is hard and I’m here to help you sit through it.”

 

R – Reflect on expectations and identify those that are more realistic with regard to the present situation.

 

Since most of us are well aware of the toll stress and frustration take on our bodies, but don’t have much in the way of extra time to meditate or attend a yoga class, I asked another wellness expert if there are additional steps we can take, as part of our existing daily routines, to help stop frustration in its tracks.

Randi Ragan, a nationally recognized holistic wellbeing expert and author of A Year Of Living Mindfully: Seasonal Practices to Nourish Body, Mind and Spirit, recommends these gentle and simple yoga poses that can be done pretty much anywhere (including during a break at work), to help promote patience and quickly decrease stress levels.

HANGING FORWARD/ROLL DOWNS

This pose infuses the brain with fresh blood and oxygen which calms down irritability, anger, and frustration.

  1. Start seated or standing (if possible) and bend forward from the waist.

  2. The head and neck should dangle loosely toward the floor, with arms loosely relaxed as well

  3. Feet planted flat and firmly

  4. Take 5 – 10 deep breaths before rolling up very slowly

  5. Keep eyes closed for a few breaths to re-balance your body in space (and to avoid dizziness)

  6. Roll downs can be done up to 8 cycles

SEATED TWIST

This pose activates the spine, and the spinal fluid, with oxygen and fresh blood, which, in turn calms the brain and settles the nervous system. When the nervous system is settled and oxygenated, then our emotions follow suit. Our brain clears of agitation and we are more likely to focus on peace and calm which manifest in patience.

  1. Face forward in the chair with feet flat on the floor.

  2. Reach around to the right and grab the back of the chair with one or both hands

  3. Close eyes and breath 5 deep breaths

  4. Release on an exhale and turn to the left

  5. Repeat reaching to the right and the left 2 or 3 times

  6. This exercise can be done a few times a day when you need to refresh and clear the mind

Our Support team is the most patient group of people you are likely to meet, because we have been in the trenches. As technology specialists and educators, we know how frustrating it can be to navigate through technology hiccups at work (especially when you have about 500 other things to do!). We are here to help, no matter the question, issue, or time. We will work with you and your team until you are fully satisfied and working efficiently in eSTAR.

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eSTAR named a “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product” by District Administration readers

eSTAR named a “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product” by District Administration readers

Nominations from top K12 leaders led to the selection of products that enhance learning across the country

 

[Andover, MA] — December 1, 2016 — eSTAR has been recognized for making a positive difference in education by K12 leaders who named it to District Administration magazine’s “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products for 2016.”

 

The winners were compiled from 1,500-plus nominations from the magazine’s readers over the past year. The Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products has been announced online and in the December 2016 issue of District Administration.

 

The District Administration Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products awards program informs superintendents and other senior school district leaders about products their colleagues around the country are using to help their districts excel in a variety of areas, such as technology, sustainability and curriculum instruction.

 

“Learning about all the products being used to help districts succeed is inspiring,” says JD Solomon, District Administration’s editorial director. “Our winners cover a wide spectrum. All of our 2016 honorees should be very proud of this achievement.”

 

“We are extremely proud that eSTAR has been selected as a District Administration Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product for another year,” said George Dhionis, Founder and CEO of ESPED. “We developed and maintain eSTAR to be a comprehensive and user-friendly solution for K12 administrators; our team is thrilled to know that District Administration readers continue to find it a valuable resource.”

 

About District Administration

District Administration provides K12 leaders with critical news and information for school district management, through its monthly magazine, website, e-newsletters and the District Administration Leadership Institute Superintendent Summits. For more information, visit www.DistrictAdministration.com.

 

Contact:

 

Ray Bendici

Special Projects Editor

District Administration magazine

rbendici@promediagrp.com

 

Keesa Sung

Director of Marketing

ESPED

800-365-0114

ksung@esped.com

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How to get organized without disrupting your life: tips from best-selling author Lee Silber

The Organization Situation

The extra work and delays that result from disorganization often cause stress for even the most detail-oriented individuals or teams. If we all had a nickel for every time we thought, “this could’ve been avoided if I had just been more organized” we would all be able to afford to hire personal assistants! If you are familiar with this feeling of frustration, you may also be familiar with the thought that usually accompanies it, “…but when would I have had the time to organize all of this?”

The good news is, we heard a rumor that there are quick and easy methods of organization that take almost no time at all but can go a long way in saving time, money, and sanity.

To boost individual and team powers of organization and (perhaps most importantly) decrease stress, we asked organization guru Lee Silber, author of the best-selling book Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain, for some tips, tricks, and best practices for keeping things in order without completely overhauling our natural thought processes and workflows.

“You can learn how to organize from others, and you can use tips and techniques from books and magazine articles, but—ultimately—you have to organize the way you think, work, and live for it to stick,” Silber advises. “For instance, maybe when you walk into the house, you like to drop everything on the counter: keys, purse, sunglasses, and your phone. But you read somewhere that everything should have a place and be put in that place, so you feel like a failure because you didn’t put everything away. The truth is, the (right) place for your stuff is where you want to put it naturally. So, put a bowl or basket there as a catch-all. If we have to change who we are to get or stay organized, chances are it won’t stick. If we work within our natural tendencies, there’s a better chance we’ll stick with (our efforts of organization). Notice how you like to store your stuff and improve upon that rather than trying to do a radical makeover.”

Silber suggests that the same go with the flow approach can be applied to office organization.  While digital resources and paperless filing can do a lot to streamline work life, we will likely encounter some of the same organizational challenges as with conventional paper systems. Silber recommends organizing your computer around the way you work. “Everything about using it should be easy,” he advises.

Digital organization tips from Lee Silber

  • Plans change, so a digital version you can adjust is a must!

  • Projects-in-Process folder is perfect for the things you want easy access to, until they are completed and can be archived.

  • What is the first thing that pops into your mind about a file? That is how to title and tag it.

  • Every time I open a (digital) file drawer, I do a little deleting of dated files. It is better than wasting a day on it.

Silber emphasizes that the key to being more organized is finding smart shortcuts that supplement our current workflows and processes. “The easier something is to do, the more likely we’ll do it. If we make something hard to put away, we probably won’t put it in its proper place.”

One of the biggest advantages of a digital archive is the order and organization it brings to student information management by complimenting your existing administrative workflow. eSTAR Archive allows you to create and maintain a 100% paperless system for all special population student information without adding extra time to your work day. Robust storage capabilities enable you to easily archive signature pages, medical reports, progress reports, assessments, and any other important documents in a place where all appropriate team members can access them. Archived files can be accessed instantly and securely 24/7 from anywhere you have a secure internet connection.

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eSTAR™ Named “Reader’s Choice Top 100 Product” by District Administration Magazine for 2015

Press Release

eSTAR™ named a “Reader’s Choice Top Product” by District Administration readers

Nominations from top K12 leaders led to the selection of products that enhance learning across the country

Andover, MA – December 1, 2015 — eSTAR™ has been recognized for making a positive difference in education by K12 leaders who named it to District Administration magazine’s “Readers’ Choice Top Products for 2015.”

The winners were compiled from 2,100-plus nominations from the magazine’s readers over the past year. The Readers’ Choice Top Products has been announced online and in the December 2015 issue of District Administration.

District Administration’s Readers’ Choice Top Products awards program informs superintendents and other senior school district leaders about products their colleagues around the country are using to help their districts excel in a variety of areas, such as technology, sustainability and curriculum instruction.

“It was inspiring to learn about the products being used in today’s schools and classrooms that are helping districts succeed,” says JD Solomon, District Administration’s editorial director. “All of our 2015 honorees should be very proud of this achievement.”

About District Administration
District Administration provides K12 leaders with critical news and information for school district management, through its monthly magazine, website, e-newsletters and the District Administration Leadership Institute Superintendent Summits. For more information, visit www.DistrictAdministration.com

Contact:
JD Solomon
Editorial Director
District Administration magazine
jdsolomon@promediagrp.com

Keesa Sung
Director of Marketing
esped.com, Inc.
ksung@esped.com

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esped.com, Inc. partners with El Paso ISD.

Press Release

June 30, 2015

Esped.com, Inc. is pleased to announce the selection of our product, eSTAR™ by the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) School Board on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. This partnership will include Cloud-based document management for students receiving special education services and will streamline management of 504 Plans, the LPAC Meeting process, Response to Intervention initiative and provide a virtual file folder for every student with eSTAR Archive™. A vested team made up of EPISD and esped.com, Inc. employees will work over the summer to begin the transition, complete system implementation and disseminate comprehensive staff training. We look forward to working together on behalf of EPISD students!

eSTAR™ — esped’s Cloud-based applications for multi-authored student documents and expertly engineered analytical tools provides teachers access to accurate student information, a common platform for collaboration with colleagues, efficiency, and valuable time with their students. Esped.com, Inc. is a leader in document compliance and is paving the road for data driven decisions in schools across the nation. To learn more about eSTAR™, visit www.esped.com.

esped.com, Inc. Contact:

Keesa Sung
Director of Marketing
ksung@esped.com
Tel:800-365-0114 ext, 6905

EPISD Contact:

Pam Howard
Assistant Superintendent Special Education
pchoward@episd.org
Tel: (915) 230-2841

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Welcome and Season’s Greetings!

We are very excited to show you our new look and updated site.  If you  currently subscribe to  eStar Series you will see similar buttons and links for signing in and reaching out for support.  We hope you find comfort in the same verbiage and look!  We have included Event and Training calendars to keep all of our readers in the loop.  With this addition, we hope to make registration for WebEx trainings more streamlined; more on this at a later date.

The process of revising our Web Site has been fun, exciting and challenging.  We’ve had many discussions with web designers, engineers and marketing on the look and feel, content and function.  We are happy to unveil a concise, attractive and comprehensive site.  Send us email and tell us how you like it, we always love to hear from you!

Somewhere it is snowing and children are relishing in its glistening white flakes.  Some may even be catching them on their tongues.  This poem by Ogden Nash sums up this time of year for me and for many of my colleagues; after-all,  Andover, Massachusetts is just south of some of the best skiing in New England.

Smooth clean and frost white

The world looks good enough to bite.

That’s the season to be young,

Catching snowflakes on your tongue.

 

From all of us at esped, wishes for a safe, healthy and happy season and thank you for all you do everyday for the children of our great Nation.

 

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ESPED is in Frisco, TX

ESPED is in Frisco, TX today for the Region 10 Fall Leadership and Fall Special education Legal Conference! Visit… http://fb.me/1Qjw8Qbgd

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Region 10 RTI Leadership Conference

This week ESPED will attend the Region 10 RTI Leadership Conference in Frisco, TX, the MASC/MASS Joint Conference… http://fb.me/1Bg1tgXNr

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Happy Halloween from everyone at ESPED

Happy Halloween from everyone at ESPED! http://fb.me/1YqRWexcd

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