A lot of people come to the mental health center or my office and have a viewpoint or expectation of having an immediate fix for their problems. It’s understandable, especially in our society, but decidedly so when you’re feeling intense depression, anxiety, or whatever symptom or stress you are under. We humans seek pleasure, and avoid pain. No one wants to feel the pain. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic pill to make things instantly better in regards to mental and emotional health. Patients frequently ask me to give them some simple things to keep in mind that apply to all situations, and so I always give them “The 3 P’s”
I think most of us know what patience is, but may not know how to apply it to our mental health recovery. We have to have patience with self, and with others. Most of the problems with our mental and emotional health weren’t created overnight(typically over an extended period of time), and they won’t be fixed overnight. The brain has an amazing ability to rewire itself, but you have to be patient with the change and progress you make. You’re learning new things, and just as it is with learning a new task or physical activity, you aren’t great at it in the beginning. But, with practice, you will improve.
To persist in or with something is to continue on in the task(to last, to endure). And in this case, we must persist in trying to change our thoughts, habits, etc. It’s a “don’t give up”, “failure is not an option,” type of thinking. This has to be tempered with realistic viewpoints about all aspects of life, but if you stop trying to accomplish your goals of change, and let things knock you down, you won’t have that behavioral change you are looking for.
Perseverance is an interesting word. It’s on old latin word that loosely translated means “per, or through the severity.” It’s a healthy kind of stubbornness. It’s continuing on despite roadblocks, negativity, and things not going according to plan. It’s ignoring the naysayers and people that are jealous of your progress and want to bring you down to their level again. It’s finding ways to, despite the bad things thrown your way, deal with all aspects of life to achieve your goals.
These principles apply to emotional and mental health, being successful in work, developing a successful business, maintaining good relationships(marriage, kids, friends), and in life overall. Have an attitude of learning. Write down your goals and review them every day. The good news is that none of this will hurt you, and it has all the ability to help. Give it a try and see what happens! If you do this every day, you should see results.