Bipolar: It Helps to Practice This More Often


I think of myself as a patient man, but there are still times when I’m not patient. Yet I know the more patient I am, the easier things will be for me in the long run. Like waiting in lines at the grocery store or department store check-out. What good does it do me to be impatient, when there’s nothing I can do about the situation? Impatience just leads to (more) frustration. Or like if someone cuts me off in traffic. It makes me angry, but it still doesn’t change the situation. Where if I were more accepting (more patient), I would just think something like, “Well, that person is in more of a hurry than I am.”

Of course, we can’t always be this rational, though, can we? Still, developing patience is a good idea for all of us to practice. The more patient you are, the more you will be willing to accept things the way they are instead of how you would like them to be. This is a concept called mindfulness. Your loved one might be learning about it in their therapy sessions and may have talked to you about it.

Patience is more than a virtue when you’re dealing with bipolar disorder. It’s a necessity. If you’re caught in traffic, for example, instead of being impatient and getting all frustrated, you need to just accept what is happening, and use that time to relax or breathe.

Have you ever heard the expression: “Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.” Well, Richard Carlson, PhD wrote a book called that, and offers some useful advice here. He suggests having “Patience Practice Periods.” He says that you should start with a small amount of time and build up to a larger amount of time. He says that you start by telling yourself: “Okay, for the next five minutes I won’t allow myself to be bothered by anything. I’ll be patient.” Once you’ve mastered five minutes, you can go longer, until you really do actually become a more patient person.

Being patient allows you to keep your perspective, instead of that perspective being clouded over by frustration or even anger (at something you can’t change) or stress. For example: You might find yourself frustrated by your loved one’s lack of progress. First you try the “Practice Patience Period” that Carlson talked about. If that doesn’t work for a long enough period, think of it consciously this way: “My present challenge is not life or death. It just is.” You can’t change your loved one or their behavior anyway – only they can do that. And if you repeat the above enough times, you might actually find yourself accepting the situation much better, and having less stress over it. You can even teach it to your loved one, which will help them have less stress in their life, which will help their bipolar disorder.

Being more patient can be a conscious thing to do, if you practice what I’ve suggested. It will also lead to less stress and complications for you. Try “Practicing Patient Periods” for yourself and see how they work out for you. I think it’s a great way to become more patient with your loved one and their bipolar disorder. Think of some things you do that help you to be patient.

Try doing more of these things.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,




  1. Hi everybody,This is really good advice from Dave. We all live life in the fast lane today even those without mental health issues and it affects us all. It is very hard to follow this good advice as we all are an impatient bunch but it is worth a try as all we do with impatience is spoil our facial features as the stress is written on our faces for all to see. there is a very good poem by W. H . Davies (I think) and its what my mother used to recite to me in my childhood in the 50/60s.What is this life if full of care.(title)

  2. Talk about patience – I had to wait 3 years for a man! 2 years for a job that I love! 3 months to be recognized for what I am truly good at; this even gets me many many many stares.

    I love my Godfather – I use to tend his garden, he taught me so much like how to apply the right spices in my lasagna and how to “cheat” with imitation cheese to perfect my chicken parmagianna and how to bake the Perfect not Lazy macaroni and cheese pie!!! Awwwwwe hat’s off for such a wonderful leader! I do understand your plight as a patient man but like the law of attraction (it’s a magnet) you tend to attract what you are or what’s like you!!!! and if it isn’t like you then you become very good at helping “it”.

    the only thing I dont get is how I attract “coca cola” drinkers in my life – I hardly drink soda so the news had me totally perplexed on that one today; I’m usually good at deciphering the “metophorical” definitions as they appear in my life.

    Dave I know this phrase “a woman’s work is never done” – Thanks Man

    You are the Man, Dave with this good vehicle you have! If it will make you “feel better” you dont strike me at all as someone who ever gets upset – What is your secret after working with so many troubled ones – like family, colleagues or even total strangers?

  3. I agree, guess thats why they say patience is a virture. I’ve lived by the philosphy that it is very hard to change someone, but it easy to change how you relate to him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *