Initially after a health crisis hits, after the shock of the diagnosis and the meetings with your doctors, hope and desire to overcome the illness is strong. Your loved ones and friends are supportive and positive. Hope is a powerful thing and is necessary in managing to maintain a positive outlook.
Personal strength – physical, mental and emotional – allows you to handle the rocky road and the ups and downs that are inevitably part of a health crisis. Personal strength comes from many sources and your belief system (spiritual, religious, or about life in general) plays an important role. Mental and emotional strength, in particular, come from the messages you send yourself and the choices you make. If your upbringing included messages like “you can do anything you set your mind to” or “you are capable of creating your positive outcomes,” those messages become the solid base of that gives you strength.
Your experiences in life such as moving past a bad situation or making a major change to improve your well-being build even more personal strength as you realize that you can indeed heal from traumatic and difficult experiences. As they say, “time heals all” and this is so true, especially if you actively work on healing and moving past traumas, disappointments, and failures.
On the other hand, it is easy during a health crisis to take on a “poor me” attitude or feel like a victim. Some of this is normal, but too much weakens your personal strength and personal power. When you find yourself in this negative state, notice it, feel it, experience it, explore it… and then release it. “Poor me” may seem protective as it enables you to stay stuck and not really deal with the emotions that come with health crisis such as fear or make necessary but difficult changes. However, in the long term this attitude only serves to bring you down and lessen your quality of life.
Physical strength can be built back after chemotherapy, radiation, or other medical treatments. Give your body good foods, nutrients, and supplements to strengthen it. Drink plenty of water and exercise within your capacity to enhance physical stamina and strength. When you feel physically strong, mental and emotional strength follow and likewise when you are emotionally and mentally strong and resilient, you have more physical resources.
So, if you are in a space where you need strength, take a deep breath and feel a surge of oxygen entering your body and giving you life force energy. Do it again and you will feel even better, lighter, and more comfortable. When I find myself feeling down, I say, “Hello down (or sadness or fear or whatever the emotion may be). I am aware of you.” Staying stuck in that negative place feels icky so I make a conscious decision to shift my mental, emotional, physical state and it works! I feel better, I smile, and I thrive!
Taking your mind away from the details of the health crisis to pleasure, fantasy, and enjoyable stimuli also helps shift you out of a negative state and build your strength. It is important to engage in activities that enhance your quality of life such as reading, attending movies and concerts, and getting plenty of laughter. Set aside the health crisis and all the decisions, questions, and concerns for a period of time. Listen to music, a hypnosis CD, or something else that brings you pleasure and relaxation. When you do this your body relaxes, your emotions calm, and your mind quiets. This restores the inner strength and personal power that keeps you going, keeps you positive, and keeps you motivated to live well even in the midst of a health challenge.
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