The following is a question most people who are diagnosed with a chronic illness have asked themselves “What can I do about the stress and mental anguish and fear I am feeling each and every day after receiving this diagnosis and how can I live a happy life?” This is a situation and a question I understand, because I also have a chronic illness and I have had the same question. I know what it is like to sit and worry about what is going to happen next and I’ve let those thoughts ruin my time I have now. The answer to the initial question lies in the following paragraphs.
This is a very tricky question to answer, but the actual answer, or process, is simple to carry out and it doesn’t cost a penny. The only thing you will have to spend is time. Time practicing what I am about to share with you. The challenging part is changing the way you are thinking. What I am about to share with you works; I know it does because I live it and I use it successfully each and every day. Before I go any further I have to give thanks to a friend of mine, Fr. Bob Hunt. He introduced me to this way of thinking and feeling. I am going to try and explain how you can actually learn to enjoy each day, be happy and still live with chronic illness.
The reason this new way of thinking takes time is you have been thinking the way you are now your entire life. It will take time and practice to get into a new thinking process. Second, most of us have never really thought about, or have been taught, where or how our feelings and emotions are generated. This being the case most of you will be skeptical of any new ideas. Follow the tips I am about to share with you and you will start to enjoy and live each day gladly, be happy, in spite of your diagnosis.
Most people think “I can’t help how I feel. I just feel that way.” The problem with this statement is it isn’t true. No one just feels. What I am about to share with you is considered one of the greatest medical/psychiatric discoveries of the last 100 years. Scientists and Psychiatrists have proven that every feeling you have ever had is a direct result of a thought! Since you are the only one in control of your mind, you are the only one who can control your thoughts and therefore your feelings. It’s that simple. The problem, as I have stated before, is most people are unaware of this fact. Most people have given up control of their minds to other people, or other things. When we give up control of our minds we give up control of our feelings. Our feelings become like a leaf blowing in the wind solely dependent on circumstance (like a leaf is to the wind) to determine which direction they will go. The key to this process is using your subconscious mind to your benefit. I suggest you read up on how the subconscious mind works, how it is active 24/7 even when you are sleeping and how it absorbs everything and accepts it as real.
The following are 9 steps to a happy life that you can use toward enjoying each day of your life regardless of what has happened to you.
1. Remember that you are the one who controls your mind and your thoughts and therefore your feelings. Fill your mind with pleasant and positive thoughts. Do this constantly throughout each day. Self affirmation works. “I like me I am a good person. I like me I am a good person.” Yours can be whatever you want. Just say it to yourself all the time and be aware of how you are thinking and feeling and why. Stay away from negative thoughts and negative people. Recognize and be aware of when you are thinking negative thoughts and shut them down. Take your lead from my brother Dan. In his 50 years of life he spent the last 25 of them suffering from all the complications from Diabetes. These complications included gangrene and amputations, partial blindness, kidney failure, dialysis and 2 kidney transplants, 6 open heart surgeries, several near death experiences, and more than his share of infections and everyday common illnesses that almost killed him do to the immunosuppressive drugs he had to take. Yet, he was the most positive upbeat and friendly person you ever wanted to meet. He lived his life by the poem “Attitude” by Charles Swindol. Find it, read it and live it!
2. Understand that worry is a total waste of time. The only thing worry can do is make you sicker. It can’t cure you, it can’t solve your problems and it can’t change what has already happened. You control worry by controlling your thoughts and therefore your feelings/worry.
3. You must have a how can I attitude and not an I can’t attitude. I am in the education field and I have always taught my students this. If you operate from “how can I? Attitude” you are going to find a way. If you operate from “I can’t, it can’t be done.” you have already given up. Don’t do this to yourself. When the hospital admissions person tells you “we can’t do that.” You must ask why, or explain what you need and ask her how we can make this happen. Learn it, live it, love it.
4. You must learn to live each moment in the now. Teach yourself, remind yourself of this fact daily. You can’t go back in time to change the past, you have no guarantee you will even be here tomorrow. Don’t waste the now on thinking about the past or future. Each of us has only this one moment right now and, as you read this, it is gone. Live in the now. Be where you are when you are there.
5. Focus on your blessings and count them each day. You have so many gifts that you have been blessed with as a unique one of a kind creation. First and foremost you have the greatest most powerful computer on the face of the earth inside of you known as your brain/mind. This gift alone is priceless and it makes you like God. Like God our brains give us the ability to create, to love, to encourage, to give compassion and feel compassion, to reason and think and not just act out of instinct, and it gives us life. You can see, you can walk, you can talk, and you can hear, you can think, you can touch and feel, you can breathe and smell and your body is so amazing that no man can duplicate it. These are all your blessings. Learn to appreciate what you have been given. Don’t be like the spoiled child who is given much without earning it and doesn’t appreciate or understand its value. You must count these blessings each and every day and appreciate what you have been given daily.
6. Understand that each human being, including you, is a unique one of a kind irreplaceable creation. You are handpicked by God to be you. Understand how and why we place value on things and apply that same standard to yourself. What makes a Stradivarius violin valuable, a painting by Monet’ or a handwritten play by Shakespeare valuable? Well? First the creators of these things were masters and second there are only a few of them in existence and third they are irreplaceable. Now apply this value system to each human being and to yourself. Each of us is a unique one of a kind creation. There is no one on this planet like you. There never has been and there never will be another like you. Each human being is irreplaceable. And most importantly our creator is the greatest master of them all. This makes you, based on the value standard we use, the most priceless creation on this planet! Live each day with this in mind and remind yourself of it all the time.
7. This next one may seem a little harsh but it must be stated. We are all going to die and there is nothing we can do about that fact. We must accept this and vow to make the most out of each moment we have on this planet. What we can do is extend our time on this earth with healthy living and healthy thinking. We can choose to live gladly and appreciate all that we have been given.
8. Read and do research on how your mind and subconscious works. I recommend books by Og Mandino. I also recommend tapes and or videos from Father Bob Hunt who is located in Orlando FL, but his business is out of Ohio.
In my articles I am always focusing on patient education and counseling. The information I just shared with you is in that vein. In order to live life gladly, to have a happy life and not waste a moment of your time on this earth you have to learn how to think properly. You must realize that you alone have the power to be happy even during times of stress and illness. This doesn’t mean you walk around laughing all the time showing no awareness of what is going on in your life. It doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be sad or scared at different times in your life. It does, however, mean that through proper awareness of how your mind works you will be aware of your thoughts, your feelings and how to control them. Proper Patient education and counseling is what makes the positive difference when dealing with chronic illness. Remember, you are not your disease! It is up to you to think properly in order to live a happy and healthy life.
9. You must have a how can I attitude and not a I can’t attitude. I am in the education field and I have always taught my students this. If you operate from “how can I?” you are going to find a way. If you operate from “I can’t, it can’t be done.” You have already given up. Don’t do this to yourself. When the hospital admissions person say “we can’t do that.” You must ask why, or explain what you need and ask her “how can we?” make this happen. Learn it, live it, love it.
In my articles I am always focusing on patient education and counseling [http://www.thepatientscorner.com].The information I just shared with you is in that vein. In order to live life gladly and not waste a moment of your time on this earth with worry, you have to learn how to think properly. You must realize that you alone have the power to be happy even during times of stress and illness. This doesn’t mean you walk around laughing all the time showing no awareness of what is going on in your life. It doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be sad or scared at different times in your life. It does, however, mean that through proper awareness of how your mind works you will be aware of your thoughts, your feelings and how to control them. Proper patient education and counseling [http://www.thepatientscorner.com/category/patient-education/] is what makes the positive difference when dealing with “bad news” from your doctor. Remember, you are not your disease! It is up to you to think properly in order to live life gladly.