They say patience is a virtue, but when you’re in constant pain, experiencing difficult times and trying to overcome trauma, having such poise can be quite difficult. To be able to wait calmly in the face of internal and external frustration and adversity is a challenge in itself. Anyone going through rehabilitation understands that it’s a process, it’s a long-term project that needs to be worked on daily. Yet each day can’t be compared to another, because not only is life unpredictable but when climbing this recovery mountain, the unknown can be confronting and sometimes we may fall off the edge.
We have the opportunity to practice patience every day. Through mundane activities and dealing with different people your patience is constantly being tested. So, how do you handle yourself when you’ve reached your threshold? Do you have strategies in place to help you keep control?
On the road to recovery, we don’t see results immediately, which at times can be deflating, especially if we put a lot of effort into reaching our goals. So, we must dig our heels in and be willing to climb that mountain and alter our path as needed. Though character strengths such as self-control, discipline and consistency we have a better chance of building resilience and tolerance, which will create a strong architecture within ourselves.
Are you willing to put in the effort required to build your patience?
Developing your Patience
1. Have a different point of view:
Do you see the world as the “glass half full” or “glass half empty”? Changing your thinking to promote a positive attitude could help when dealing with overwhelming situations. Rather than being reactive, regulate your emotions, calm your system and respond in a constructive way.
Step away and reframe. Don’t shelter yourself from situations that test your patience, understand what is triggering your frustration. Open your mind, look at the world in 3D and find what is creating your internal conflict. Ask yourself why you are feeling impatient in that moment.
3. Plan your progression with graded exposure:
It’s normal to have peaks and troughs in any rehabilitation process and a key component of managing your outcomes is through pacing. Pacing will help manage flare ups, allow you to understand your threshold, plan your development and keep you in control. The idea of pacing is to slowly push your tolerance line higher by exposing yourself to influences that challenge you. We already know this takes time and it’s important to listen to your mind and body, to stay patient, be persistent and slowly lift your ability in a safe way.
4. Just breathe:
Mindfulness is becoming a very well-known intervention, and for good reason. Practising mindfulness, meditation and breathing can help with emotion regulation, self-control, decreasing anxiety, stress and anger and experiencing being calm and feeling connected. These are just a few of the benefits associated with mindfulness and shouldn’t be overlooked. This is a powerful strategy that just might be your missing puzzle piece.