This One Thing Could Transform Your Life With Chronic IllnessSep 07, 2023
What is the most important ingredient in living well with chronic illness?
I know this to be true. MS and breast cancer are two completely different diseases. Yet they have one thing in common. My mindset.
I spent 25 years learning how to use my mindset to live well with MS. When the surgeon called to say my breast cancer had already spread, I couldn’t breathe. I’d never experienced such fear. My cancer was now considered terminal.
Dealing with this shock, in the days, weeks and months that followed, I started applying my same mindset as I had learnt from living with MS. Not only was I able to sleep the night before the first appointment with my oncologist, but I’m already attracting experiences I never thought would happen. Like this new oasis for my healing.
But I want to pause here. When I refer to mindset, it's not about being positive all the time. It’s about being authentic to your feelings and finding ways to move forward. In this week's blog, we'll explore the role of mindset in living with chronic illness and how it can be your greatest ally.
And in case you’re wondering, by mindset, I’m talking about how you think about and approach your chronic illness and all aspects of your life. It's your mental attitude that influences how you experience and handle every situation in living with chronic illness.
The power of mindset in every chronic illness situation
Your mindset is with you every step of the way, in every situation you face while living with chronic illness.
Sitting in your doctor’s room, being told your prognosis. Your mindset is there.
Lying in a hospital bed, feeling alone, scared of what is to come. Your mindset is there.
Getting through a brutal treatment regime, feeling sick and depleted. Your mindset is there.
Faced with the reality of trying to fit your illness into your everyday life. Your mindset is there.
The presence of your mindset is constant. The bad news is that it has the potential to become your worst enemy. Sabotaging your efforts, feeding your fear and anxiety. Making you feel like moving forward and experiencing lightness in your life is impossible.
The good news is that you can turn your mindset into your greatest ally. Its constant presence can guide you through difficult times, the darkest moments of your life.
The myth of the positive mindset
There seems to be an assumption that when we talk about mindset, we think it means being positive all the time. However, in the context of chronic illness, this is not realistic, healthy, or authentic.
If you are really struggling, feeling exhausted and despondent about your life, how do you feel with comments such as “could be worse” or “you just need to stay strong”? Although well intended, they don’t validate the complex emotions that come with living with chronic illness.
Worse still, you might feel pressured to put on a brave face or pretend that everything is fine when in reality, you’re struggling to cope with your illness and the impact it’s having on your life.
In writing and speaking about mindset, I don’t want you to disregard how you are feeling and just be positive. That approach won’t help you to live well.
Instead, it’s essential to embrace your emotions, even when they're not positive. Acknowledging and validating the full spectrum of emotions you are feeling will encourage a more authentic and compassionate approach to managing your challenges with chronic illness.
Alternative mindsets when you are not feeling positive.
Sometimes, we think that if we can't be positive, the only alternative is to be negative. Over a sustained period, remaining in a negative mindset is definitely not where you want to be. However, you have other options; you can choose different mindsets to help you move forward.
❤️ Open mindset: Be open to new ideas and options for managing your illness. Learn from your experiences and be ready to change your perspective. This helps you grow personally.
🧡 Adaptable mindset: Chronic illness brings unexpected challenges. Be flexible and ready to adapt, so you can handle these challenges and keep your well-being.
💚 Resilient mindset: Overcome the difficulties of chronic illness by bouncing back from setbacks. Use your inner strength and past experiences to stay hopeful and determined.
By exploring and embracing these mindset alternatives, you can continue to move forward in your journey with chronic illness, even when positivity isn't possible.
(Stay tuned as I have lots more information to add to this!)
The power of your mindset in living with chronic illness
Living with a chronic illness can be a challenging and isolating experience, but one thing remains constant throughout your journey. You and your mindset.
While your circumstances may change, your mindset is always by your side, influencing how you handle the ups and downs of living with a chronic condition.
Your mindset is the common denominator, whether you're dealing with the emotional toll of your illness, managing symptoms, making treatment decisions or exploring natural therapies.
By working on your mindset, you can turn this constant companion into your greatest ally, empowering you to face the challenges that come with chronic illness head-on.
How to improve your chronic illness mindset
You have the power to actively work on improving your mindset. Through self-reflection, seeking support, and learning from experiences, you can cultivate a mindset that enables you to embrace life with chronic illness.
However, this process can be challenging and time-consuming. It took me years to learn how to use my mindset to live well with multiple sclerosis. When faced with a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis, I didn't have the luxury of time to figure out how to apply my mindset to this new illness.
Fortunately, I was able to immediately apply everything I had learned from my experience with MS. Although stage 4 breast cancer and MS are two completely different diseases, my mindset is the common denominator. Each mindset shift has helped me navigate through stress, anxiety, and fear. I am now in a space where I can embrace life with two life-changing illnesses and look forward to my future with confidence, knowing that I can make an impact on any challenge that comes my way.
My aha moment… You can use your mindset to live well with any chronic illness.
An opportunity to work on your chronic illness mindset.
I often get asked, "How do you do it? How do you cope with the stress of living with MS and now stage 4 breast cancer?"
Instead of merely offering some random advice, I took the time to create a new Mindset Masterclass called "Reclaim Your Life." In this masterclass, I share the 3 mindset shifts that can help you thrive after a life-changing diagnosis.
These insights will enable you to tackle the 3 most common stressful situations you will face in living with chronic illness.
The masterclass is 'on-demand' because I want you to start implementing these mindset shifts right away. You can access it below and begin your journey towards a more empowered and resilient mindset in the face of chronic illness.
Mindset truly is everything when it comes to living well with chronic illness. Embracing your emotions, being authentic to yourself, and cultivating a mindset that empowers you to move forward are essential steps.
Instead of spending years trying to figure out the best mindset shifts, you have the opportunity to access the Reclaim Your Life Mindset Masterclass today.
Don't miss the chance to discover the 3 mindset shifts that will help you cope with the most common yet challenging situations you experience in living with chronic illness. Access the Reclaim Your Life Mindset Masterclass now and transform your approach to living with chronic illness.