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April 23, 2007

Healthy Living: Patience is a Virtue

Do we have really have the patience to get healthy?

I’ve been thinking a lot about patience lately. Just this Sunday I was standing behind an elderly woman in the grocery store and felt my blood pressure begin to rise. She was moving very slow and methodically, seemingly unaware of grocery store line etiquette. She asked endless questions about prices, dug through her purse for coupons, with no awareness whatsoever that there was a very long line of self-important 30-40 something’s waiting impatiently behind her.

As I watched her, I began to admire her chutzpah, and I felt myself starting to relax. What’s the big deal? I didn’t have an appointment to make, I didn’t leave my car running and I certainly didn’t need to make an 80 year old woman feel bad about buying her groceries. I gave her permission to do what she needed to do and by the time I approached the register I realized all of 4 or 5 minutes had passed. I doubt that 4 or 5 minutes is going to change anyone’s life.

In this very same way a lack of patience and wisdom can be our enemy when we’re trying to manage our weight . I ran across an interesting site called, Coping.org: Tools for Coping with Life's Stressors , It is authored by James J. Messina, PhD and Constance M. Messina, PhD. There you can find a variety of topics which deal with coping mechanisms. The excerpt below is on patience.

Develop a consistent philosophy of life. Take life one day at a time. Consider each day a gift of life that will allow you to get one step closer to your goal of growth and change.

Accept the reality of your humanity in that you are going to need time, effort, and energy to change and grow. You will experience some resistance to altering long standing, habitual ways of acting, reacting, and believing.

Reframe your perspective on the past, present, and future. Do not dwell on your past mistakes and failings. Do not worry about what you will become or how you will act in the future. Begin to live each new day as a fresh start.

Break larger goals down into components that are short term goals and objectives, more realistically attainable in the immediate future.

Be systematic in planning your path to recovery and growth.

Accept, understand, and forgive yourself for being fragile, imperfect, and weak. You need to become your own best friend and cheerleader. Love yourself.

Wake up to the realities of life around you. Everyone with whom you come in contact is busy working through their own struggles, weaknesses, setbacks, relapses, crises, and obstacles to their personal growth and recovery. All of us are on the path to personal growth. There is no one exempt from this journey. It takes a lifetime to complete.

Confront your fears about attaining your goal. Remember, the world was not created in a day. Beautiful symphonies, works of art, and literary masterpieces were not created in a day. A lifetime is not lived in a day.

You can find more on coping.org here.

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Posted by Laura on April 23, 2007 | Permalink


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