Once you are diagnosed with a minor or major health condition, it may be difficult to stay motivated and positive. It is not only important to maintain a healing attitude for your own sanity, but also for your health. Stress, anxiety and negative emotions can worsen your condition, which can make you feel even more discouraged or weakened. While it is normal to feel emotionally distraught after a diagnosis with a condition that may impair your health, there are a few ways you can address your feelings and keep up the strength to get you through this difficult time.
Remember that you are not your illness: Many people tend to identify with their illness, and either subconsciously or consciously believe that their illness defines them as a person. This identification with the illness often causes more suffering and pain than the actual illness itself.
Eat for your health: Of all the recommended strategies for fighting disease and promoting overall health and well being, few are as critical and profound as healthy eating. Eating a variety of nourishing, whole foods provides the ability to rejuvenate and rebuild, while keeping you healthy and energized. Certain diet plans can also be tailored to a specific health condition – for example, foods such as cruciferous vegetables support heavy metal detoxification and decrease inflammation.
Meditate: The health benefits of meditation have been successfully tested in the scientific community with excellent results. More and more peer-reviewed research on meditation confirms that it is a viable method of improving health and emotional well being, helping with issues ranging from cardiovascular disease, inflammation and immune activity to pain, anxiety and depression. Meditation is a beneficial relaxation technique, as it is well known in the medical world that reduction of stress improves the condition of many disease states and helps to greatly reduce health risks related to physical, mental and emotional overload.
Clear the clutter: When battling any type of illness, people often seek a more serene environment that is clean and calming to improve their mood and decrease stress. Clearing clutter from your everyday environment – whether it is your office, home environment, or your car – can help you create a more peaceful and comfortable space in which to invite healing energy.
Reach out: While you may feel inclined to isolate yourself when you are ill, sometimes company is the best therapy! Taking time to connect with friends and family through e-mails, visits or phone calls will help you feel supported and loved, improve your mood and immunity, and help to process your diagnosis in a safe environment. In addition, many programs provide support groups that bring people in similar circumstances together in order to help one another work through personal experiences in a positive way.
A key to recovery from illness or serious health conditions involves increasing your emotional well being and improving your surroundings. Creating a safe, happy and healthy environment in which to heal will allow you to maintain your psychological health while improving your physical vitality.
By Dr. Isaac Eliaz M.D., L.Ac., M.S.