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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Practicing Patience for Recovery

One of the many challenges of recovery is having patience – the patience to heal and to reclaim your life. In active addiction, you’ve likely become accustomed to an instant-fix mode; using drugs, alcohol, sex, eating, or any other substance or behavior to quickly alter the way you feel. 

In recovery, on the other hand, there is no quick fix. Staying sober is a lifelong journey that requires having patience on a daily basis – patience with the process, patience with yourself and with loved ones. 

We’re not born with it. Like any worthy skill, learning to become a more patient person takes a fair amount of practice. Here are five tips to get you started:  
  • Make yourself wait. Whether you intentionally hold off for 10 minutes to eat dessert or to cue your favorite Netflix series, practicing patience with small tasks will help you realize your willpower and ability to withstand the recovery process. 
  • Embrace being uncomfortable. “We need to become comfortable with the uncomfortable in order to cultivate a little more patience,” wrote Jane Bolton, PsyD, in a blog for Psychology Today. There will inevitably be times during recovery that you’re outside your comfort zone – and during these times it’s easy to become impatient about the circumstances. Try to power through and remind yourself that it’s just uncomfortable, not intolerable. 
  • Practice gratitude. People who are able to be thankful for what they have are more mindful – and this leads to being more patient, according to studies. Try it: Jot down three things for which you are thankful and three people to whom you are grateful. 
  • Discover a healthy outlet for your emotions. Even the most patient person becomes frustrated now and again – but learning to release this frustration will make room for patience. Find what works for you: Is it a walk, meditation, venting to a good friend, or watching a funny YouTube video? 
  • Just breathe. Count to 10 and take a deep breath – and repeat a few times if necessary. This simple act will help you slow down and focus on being more patient.
Recovery: A Phone Call Away
If you have been putting off addiction recovery, make a decisive move today. To reach a recovery counselor at The Haven at Pismo, call 805-202-3440.