Working Through an Illness

It can be hard to stay positive when how you feel leans towards the negative, especially when everyone around you, family, friends and even your doctor tries to help you stay in the positive spin cycle. Sometimes you just feel off, and no balloons or flowers will change that. What is important to remember is that an integrated health system includes the mind, body and spirit, and when the body is down, we need to use the mind and spirit to help get us through. That is why it is so essential to keep this axis of healing in top shape.

With illness comes uncertainty, lack of control and finally surrender to your circumstances. Most people just want to know what’s happening, and what can be done about it, so a proactive program for mind and spirit might take a backseat. Don’t let that happen. A positive outlook will take some effort, and there are 10 things you can do to make it easier.

  1. Keep a sharp focus on your diet. It might momentarily feel better to be in a sugar coma, but it does nothing to help the healing process.
  2. Exercise if you can. Releasing those endorphins can give you the boost you need to make it through.
  3. Keep it clean. Don’t let your environment get out of control. When things look nice and smell nice you won’t feel so imprisoned by your illness.
  4. Drink lots of water. All the time. You can spice it up with your favorite fruits to give it an extra kick. Staying hydrated keeps the engines going.
  5. Approach every day “as if” the illness doesn’t own you. Get up and bathe, put on some fresh clothes (or sheets) and face the day.
  6. Keep human contact. Don’t isolate. People pay therapists just to talk, and for good reason. The more you engage, the more you will be engaged in getting better.
  7. Have a laugh. Turn off the news and read a romance novel or watch a movie where the characters are engaging with life in a positive way. Filter out the mayhem we often use for entertainment.
  8. Keep a journal. Get those negative thoughts out of your head and into something you can close at the end of the day.
  9. Listening to your favorite music can distract the negativity. Turn it up!
  10. Don’t blame yourself. Getting sick is human. Getting better is possible.

Most everyone at certain points in their life will face an illness they don’t want or expect. The body is the vessel for your mind and spirit. You own it, it doesn’t own you. Get in a positive mind set and make that vessel sail onward.

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