Why does society accept disabilities when they can see them with their eyes, but what they judge is chronic disease that goes unnoticed? When you have a constant battle with your health, you have become used to people thinking that you are not really sick or that everything is in your mind. Suffering from health problems can chill your spirit and leave you questioning your very existence on earth.
Is it any wonder that depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders often accompany health battles? How can you stay positive when you feel so bad in your body that even crawling out of bed seems to consume all the energy you can muster? Struggling with your health can bankrupt you financially, mentally, and physically, not to mention the fact that your spiritual self is affected as well.
Since you have no choice but to move on, how can you stay positive when your world seems so negative? Is it possible to wear a smile even if you feel like crying? Your way of thinking is a powerful thing and one of the best defenses you have against ongoing diseases.
Ways to stay positive when faced with a chronic illness
First, you must accept the fact that no one will ever understand how you feel inside. Chronic diseases can affect every fiber of your being and leave you questioning your very existence. However, there is a way to change your mindset to improve your perspective and keep your optimism high.
1. Count your blessings
It sounds very cliché to say that you should count your blessings. Consequently, if you focus on all the wrong things in your body, you will only make things worse. Instead, start telling yourself all the good things about your life. For example, you should use express things like:
- I have a family that loves me and is by my side in my health problems.
- I am not alone as I am surrounded by a loving wife.
- Although I may be sick in my body, there is always someone who is worse than me.
- I have a nice warm bed to rest in when I’m tired, which many people don’t have.
- There is food in my cabinets and my belly is full.
- Even if I’m not rich, I have money to pay my bills.
When you start to be grateful for the smallest things, like the bills being paid and the bread in the cabinet, you change your perceptions. It’s hard to feel oppressed when you have so many blessings. According to a school of thought, practicing gratitude is an important strategy to maintain your well-being.
Journaling is a great option that allows you to get things out of your head and into the atmosphere. It also helps you create an account of your health battles. If you feel like people are tired of hearing about your bodily problems, you can write things out out loud.
It’s hard when you’re feeling this bad, but you don’t want to complain about all the aches and pains. Rather, it is best to put it in writing and release these negative feelings from your body.
3. Create a vision board
Continual battles with your health can strip you of your will to live. TO Vision board helps you look beyond where you are now and into the future. If you have a condition that is a battle that you will eventually conquer, then you can focus on the aspect of victory.
For example, if you are battling thyroid cancer and undergoing treatment, it can be difficult to see sunlight when you are feeling this bad. Fortunately, a vision board will help you prepare for the future and set goals to be a better, healthier person.
4. Talk to a counselor
Counseling can be an integral part of your mental health when dealing with a chronic illness. Talking to a neutral third party can help you have a sounding board for letting out negativity. You don’t want to be a burden on your family, so having this person who can help you clear your mental space is essential.
Also, a psychologist can give you tips and tricks to help you in this battle. Just knowing that you have someone to lean on in the darkest days of your life is comforting.
Depending on the degree of your illness, there will be days when you will want to go out and do something. Do you have a gift or talent that you can share with the world? When you have a condition like lupus or back problems, your problems will come and go.
There will be times when you have some energy. Giving back is an essential part of life and helps you feel better. Although you may have limitations that dictate what you can and cannot do, there is always some way to help others who are worse off than you.
Helping others feels good, and helps pay off karmic debt and puts you in a better mental space.
6. Use meditation
Meditation is great for chronic illnesses as it allows you to cleanse your body of the negativity that accompanies battles for health. There is something extraordinary about using this time to purge negative thoughts and feelings from your mind and heart, allowing you to focus on healing. Even if your condition is terminal, meditation can help relax your mind and body for the struggles that lie ahead.
During meditation, you reflect and focus on the positive, which has an impact on your health. According to a study published by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthMeditation has been shown to help reduce anxiety levels and blood pressure. It would be helpful if you tried to meditate at least once a day, but you can take smaller sessions anytime you feel overwhelmed by your struggles.
7. Turn to your higher power
Your faith and spirituality are an integral part of any battle against chronic illness. The belief that someone greater than you is overseeing things provides you with a source of comfort. Prayer can change things for you and put you in a better frame of mind.
It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are; turning to your faith in times of crisis can be comforting. If you have a priest, pastor, or other spiritual advisor in charge, you can call on them to help you when things are at their worst. A spirit guide in times of adversity is often what gives you hope when the outlook seems so bleak.
8. Use positive affirmations
Positive affirmations they are another tool that can help you improve your mood. For example, as soon as you get out of bed, you should have a list of affirmations to respond to to keep yourself in a good place. You should say these affirmations before reading social media, turning on the news, and being filled with all the negativity in the world around you.
Try telling yourself things like this:
- I’m going to have a nice day.
- I’m not going to let my illness define me.
- I will fulfill all the goals that I have before me.
- No matter how bad things look, I choose to stay positive.
- Today I will live life to the fullest.
The wonderful thing about these affirmations is that you can customize them to your specific situation. If you start to feel negative during the middle of the day, there is nothing to indicate that you cannot quote these encouraging phrases again.
Being sick is never fun, and it is even more difficult when it comes to an ongoing battle. While these eight things listed above can help you, there are other things you can do to stay on the rise as well. Remember it negativity is like invasive cancer that it can eat the very fiber of your being.
When you allow yourself to walk the pessimistic path, it is difficult to return to a more positive perspective. Once you let negativity have a place in your life, it will take hold and grow like a weed that strangles your will to move on. Use your support system on days when things are at their worst, as you will need to have someone to lean on during this battle.
Chronic diseases are not fun at all and they can take their toll. However, never let illness define you. When the morning is good, go out and enjoy the sun. Consequently, don’t push yourself on those bad days. Know your limits and when you need to rest.
Remember that it will not always rain. There will be times when the clouds will break and the sunlight will shine through. You can and will find effective coping skills to overcome this storm in your life.