You’ve probably heard the adage “patience is a virtue” more than once in your lifetime. But like most clichés, there is some truth in it. Every person who wants to live a meaningful life needs to learn how to practice patience.
Our modern culture puts heavy emphasis on instant gratification, but this can be very harmful. Learning how to practice patience is especially beneficial for people recovering from substance abuse since it will take time before they can revert back to their life before addiction.
What Is Patience?
Patience means persevering and being tolerant. It can also be described as the ability to bear challenges calmly without any complaints. People who are impatient tend to act rashly and have unrealistic expectations.
Patience offers many benefits. When someone has this quality, it means they are willing to put in energy and work for future rewards. This way, they can enjoy more satisfaction since the prize did not come easy.
How to Practice Patience
Try these tips below to improve and practice your patience.
1. Take slow breaths
While this tip may sound like an overused gimmick, it can truly help. Try to pause for a minute and take deep breaths when you feel like you can’t control yourself. The impatience inside you will slowly dissipate. Whether you are dealing with stress, inhaling, and exhaling slowly can calm your digestion, immune system, and brain. Bringing awareness to the flow of your breath can also relax you and give you energy.
2. Think big
It’s tempting to get wrapped up in the heat of the moment. When you have to walk by your old bar, your mind probably goes straight to ordering your favorite drink. When this happens, think about the big picture. Is it really impossible to say no to a drink? You can still have fun without doing anything destructive, and in time, you’ll find yourself not worked up about your triggers anymore.
3. Keep a journal
Managing emotions is an important aspect of the journey to achieving patience. When you are dealing with addiction, it is recommended to keep a journal because writing down negative emotions will help you deal with them. Force yourself to think before you act so you won’t make decisions you will regret. Journaling also offers benefits such as tracking your cravings and moods and understanding your triggers. Discuss journaling with your therapist and how to use it alongside dialectical behavior therapy sessions.
4. Learn to wait
This is one of the best ways to practice patience. When you do this, assume that things will take longer than what you expect. However, be willing to make changes and be flexible, depending on your current needs. You can also practice patience through hobbies such as gardening, fishing, baking, or taking on art projects.
5. Be realistic
If you think that sobriety is an easy path, you will be extremely disappointed. Addiction recovery is a long and arduous process, and no one gets better right away. Most people who go through recovery with this mindset will end up relapsing due to decreased motivation. However, this does not mean sobriety cannot be achieved. It simply implies that you need to be realistic about the struggles you will face. Think about your goals and take them one small step at a time.
When you set realistic goals, you can enjoy increased confidence. Remember that goal-setting is a continuous process, and you can be flexible with it since priorities change. It also helps to recognize that you will have bad days, so it’s up to you to find a healthy outlet for your negative emotions. This may include:
- Venting to your friend
- Deep breathing
- Watching a movie
Patience Is Key
From day one, you need to be equipped with the skills you need to succeed in your journey to sobriety. Our experts Midwest Recovery Center understands this. We offer a wide array of therapies that can help you learn how to practice patience. When you know it’s time to overcome your addiction, contact Midwest Recovery Center at 833.627.0039.