5 Steps to Help You Stay Positive when dealing with chronic illness. Know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let illness define who you are. #chronicillness #health #wellness #gratitude #heartfocus

Chronic Illness Does Not Define You.

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Writing from personal experience I know that what ails us can become all-consuming. I know that it is possible for chronic illness to become so prevalent in our daily life that the illness may become our identity. I still struggle with this..... KNOW AND BE CONFIDENT IN THE TRUTH WHICH IS THIS.....CHRONIC ILLNESS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU. You are so much more and your life has a greater purpose. Outlined in this post are a few of my own life wellness strategies that CAN change your life focus, even when faced with the challenge of a chronic illness.  Change your life for the better!!

Writing from personal experience I know that it is possible for chronic illness to become so prevalent in our daily life that we start to associate the illness with our identity.

5 steps to help you stay positive when dealing with chronic illness. Be confidant and know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let your illness define who you are. Lisa xo #chronicillness #health #wellness #gratitude #heartliving
5 steps to help you stay positive when dealing with chronic illness. Be confidant and know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let your illness define who you are. Lisa xo #health #wellness #gratitude #heartfocus
5 steps to help you stay positive when dealing with chronic illness. Be confidant and know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let your illness define who you are. Lisa xo #wellness #health #wellness #gratitude #heart-centered
5 steps to help you stay positive when dealing with chronic illness. Be confidant and know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let your illness define who you are. Lisa xo #wellness #health #wellness #gratitude #heart-centered

BE CONFIDENT IN THIS TRUTH …. CHRONIC ILLNESS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.

Health issues can be overwhelming and even all-consuming but you are so much more than a disease and your life has a great purpose and a higher calling. 

The five wellness strategies outlined below are to help you change your perspective and focus on the positive even when faced with the challenges of a chronic illness.  I want you to the be the best version of you possible.  Please know that my intention is in no way to make light of physical or mental illness.  I have been told that one of my gifts is to make people feel welcome but maybe I took that a bit too far when it came to illness.  My physical body is the fortunate host of three auto-immune diseases that can be crippling and painful.  We all have our own battles on this journey of life.

My job here today is only to guide you towards a content, happy, purposeful,  and abundant life as you discover your own personal path to wellness.  You can live a happier, heart-centered, mindful and balanced life today!

Wellness is crucial in living a higher quality of life.  The definition of wellness as defined by The World Health Organization defines wellness is “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The National Wellness Institute has this to say about wellness, “a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.”  I couldn’t have said it better!

Please do not compare yourself, and your battles against someone else or how they appear to handle theirs either better or worse than you.  You do not know what another person has been dealt with unless you walk in their shoes.  Wellness is not about who is the sickest, like some kind of ‘I have it way worse than that person’…. always empathize with others, be understanding but don’t measure and analyze!

Find peace in the knowledge that “everything is as it should be” – Adrien Mishler, and strive towards a life so filled with a sense of love and purpose that goodness overflows from you and spills out onto people who connect with your life journey.   Be mindful of your words and how you talk about your physical and mental wellness.

5 steps to help you stay positive when dealing with chronic illness. Be confidant and know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let your illness define who you are. Lisa xo #chronicillness #health #wellness #gratitude #heartfocus

 

Step One:

Admit the illness might not go away anytime soon.  Admit this to yourself and to those close to you, having someone to talk to about it is so important.  When you admit the illness is possibly lifelong, only then can you take further steps to manage, deal with, and overcome it.  And by overcome I do not mean to infer that the illness is healed or cured.  There are many mental and physical illnesses that are not curable, many of which are also invisible to the people around you.

Step Two:

Ask yourself, what if….’what if this is lifelong’, ‘what if there are painful days ahead’, ‘what if I never get a diagnosis for this (whatever ‘this’ is for you) ?’ What is the worst case scenario.  This may sound like a pessimistic approach, however, in my experience, asking these difficult questions will aid you in facing the issue realistically and propel you forward with purpose and conviction to find your path to wellness.

5 steps to help you stay positive when dealing with chronic illness. Be confidant and know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let your illness define who you are. Lisa xo #chronicillness #health #wellness #gratitude #heartfocus

Step Three:

Take care of your mind and your body.  The illness that resides in your physical body also desires to control your mental wellness.  Seek assistance and guidance from people you love and/or trust: a counsellor, a pastor, your physician a naturopath, nutritionist, friend, spouse. The who in this step is different for each person but the important thing not to face it alone.

Seek medical advice, and do the research to learn whether diet, exercise, yoga, nutritional supplements, medications, massage therapy or other alternative treatments may be helpful.  For many of us, alternative health methods are the only relief.  For instance, in the past ten years, each medication a specialist prescribed for me has either resulted in an allergic reaction or a severe autoimmune response; therefore I source out alternative measures.

Alternative meaning different, something you haven’t yet tried.  It may be the equivalent of committing to a regular exercise plan, a yoga practice, daily meditation, eating a healthier diet, or simply taking the time for a much needed therapeutic massage. Write down steps you can take and give them a try.

5 steps to help you stay positive when dealing with chronic illness. Be confidant and know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let your illness define who you are. Lisa xo #chronicillness #health #wellness #gratitude #heartfocus

Whatever works for you, remember to talk, talk, and talk some more.  Don’t keep the pain inside and try to do this alone. Share what you are going thru with others, and ask them for honest support and most of all, love.  

I believe that a daily exercise practice including stretches and yoga can benefit all of us.  Here are three beginner stretches you can try >> Stretching for Your Body, Mind and Soul.  If you are ready to start a yoga routine, then check out this post >>Yoga, Relax Your Muscles, Mind and Unwind.

Get the only Subscription box designed to enhance your yoga journey!

Here is a pink yoga mat to get you started!

 

Step Four:

Share your story with others thru writing and speaking about it.  In sharing your story you focus outwards and connect with others, this shift in focus will help you see the positive in every day and all that you go thru.   What you have gone thru, are still going thru, and what you might go thru in the future, is the story someone else needs to hear.  Everything in life happens for a reason (the good and the not so good, and the downright horrible), it might even be to help someone else, and let them know they are not alone, that you totally understand what they are going thru because you have been there. 

Step Five:

Practice gratitude.  Write down three things you are grateful for every morning.  Look for the small miracles that will otherwise go unnoticed, especially on the days when your health is at it’s worst.  This can be something as simple as stretching before you get out of bed, the fresh feeling right after stepping out of the shower, or a new day to start over.  The more you look for the abundance and goodness in your life, the better your life will be!

5 steps to help you stay positive when dealing with chronic illness. Be confidant and know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let your illness define who you are. Lisa xo #chronicillness #health #wellness #gratitude #heartfocus

May today be the beginning of your path to happiness, wellness, and a heart-centered life.  May peace and love be with you wherever you go.

As always,

 

 

 

Here’s a Pin for your Pinterest board!

5 steps to help you stay positive when dealing with chronic illness. Be confidant and know that you are so much more than your health issues and don't let your illness define who you are. Lisa xo #chronicillness #health #wellness #gratitude #heartfocus

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34 responses to “Chronic Illness Does Not Define You.

  1. Wow, its a very well written article. I have not experienced this kind of a health concern, so I will not know what that feels like to deal with chronic pain, but it must be extremely challenging at times. I think this type of article has the potential to help anyone dealing with any crises to stop and think, Sometimes getting the words out there are like a fear buster that allows you to put things in a perspective that they can’t consume you. That can give you strength. A lot of transferrables in this.

    • Thank you for your kind and encouraging comment Amy. It is my desire that thru sharing my own experience and what I have learn help others in whatever ‘crisis’ they come up against in their own life.

  2. As someone who suffers from chronic illness and an injury that left me with chronic pain, I can really relate. I love all of your suggestions but would add one more.

    I think the biggest help to me is to spend time volunteering and giving to others. I find that sharing “my story” kind of freaks people out but listening to THEIR story really lifts them up.

    Making other people feel “normal,” taking the time to talk to them about everyday things, family, hobbies, and the positive part of their future helps to change their mindset. It’s a win win.

    • Oh I totally agree with your Valerie! I love to volunteer and always find it an opportunity to build relationships with people in my community and church so I can listen and empathize and let them know they are not alone.

  3. Lisa, thanks so much for sharing. First of all, just starting out with “Chronic Illness does NOT Define you ” is a powerful truth. It’s so easy when visiting doctor after doctor hearing one negative report after another to step into that identity and put on that garment of illness like a fitted jacket. But it’s NOT who we are. For me, taking care of my mind and body is so critical. Guarding our hearts and minds to prevent stress is imperative. Prayer and walking in peace are powerful keys. I am going to check out the stretches and yoga info here. Thanks again!

  4. ‘Everything happens for a reason’ is so true. We spent 5 years and upwards of 30K to get pregnant to learn we were expecting twins! Then lost one at 34 weeks. We have since had 2 more sets of twins and a singleton. Our story has reached so many and I have been able to support other women through infertility and loss. I know I will see my Landon John again someday. Thanks for the post ❤️

    • Hi, Amanda. Thank you reading my post and for sharing your journey with me and my readers. I am truly sorry for your loss. It is true, we will meet our loved ones again someday and that is what I hold onto.

  5. As I figured I would, I love this post. It’s well written and full of lots of support and encouragement for those who are going through such a physical and emotional time. I love that the first thing you touched one was admitting that you have the illness and then being able to embrace it. It’s not an easy thing to do and while I don’t truly have a chronic illness myself, I work in healthcare and deal with quite a few people that do. It takes a lot to go through everything that you have to do with a chronic illness and I am sure many people will appreciate this post. Thanks for sharing

    • Your comment means a lot to me, Victoria. It is the desire of my heart that those who read this will be encouraged and uplifted in whatever their circumstance may be.

    • Hi Nzali, family members can encourage and support by guiding gently and with much love. You can only make the suggestions but the person has to want to complete the steps.

  6. These are great steps , thanks for sharing. I myself don’t ascribe to any labels set by the doctor. Some call it denial but I know that owning them defines who you are to an extent.

    • I want everyone to know that whatever they are faced with, including a chronic illness, they are so much more beyond the situation or circumstance.

  7. Tina

    Dealing with chronic illness leads to a lot of guilt and self criticism. Forgiveness towards ourselves helps a great deal. Thank you for sharing this!

  8. Very well written. This is perfect for my sister and I’m sharing it with her. It’s so difficult living with a chronic illness, but it does make you a stronger person on the inside.

      • Susan Clausen

        Chronic Pain can be all consuming, I find if I take pain meds and keep going and keep working, swim as often as I can, and hang out with fun friends it helps cope with pain and keeps your mind off it for periods of time. Sleeping at night is challenging too, do what you need to do, take what you need to take to get sleep this always help. Pray is important to me too, I do plenty of that with much comfort given me. We can do it, we just have to want too

  9. I think it’s true that when people suffer from chronic illness often times they well feel as if they have failed themselves and that their illness means they are weak! My heart is heavy for those who would ever think they are less than a person because hey suffer fro chronic illness. ):

  10. Susan Clausen

    Well written lots of good advice. I value your advise because you live it and it has made a difference in your life thanks for your honesty and vulnerability