For Day #4 of The Second Annual RA Blog Week I have chosen a Wild Card and will be sharing advice on how to live well with chronic disease and pain.
Like anyone reading this post, I have experienced super painful days. I have worried when I went to bed at night that I would not be able to move my body in the morning. I had my young children help me dress/undress, open medicine bottles, and help me in more ways than I ever thought possible. I still have days where I get little panic attacks when I think of the possibilities rheumatoid arthritis has in store for me. Despite that, I have created a little survival pack of positives that I practice and would like to share with you.
1. Practice Gratitude. I will admit to being a “half-full” type person. I need to find the positive in everything. But during my darkest rheumatoid arthritis days, it became a struggle to find the positive I so desperately needed. This is when I started looking for the smallest of things going right in my life.
- I snuggled with my kids today.
- I made my husband laugh.
- I cooked!
- A cardinal sat outside my window for me to enjoy.
- I only needed one hand to lift my tea cup today!!!
Gratitude is always a work in progress. However, the more we practice it, the better we become at it. By practicing gratitude, we allow our brain to take a little break from the pain and see all the beauty that is still going on in the wonderful world around us. What are you grateful for today?
If you haven’t read Louise Hay, this is a great place to start. Below are a few posts I have written based on her daily inspirations.
2. Visualize Yourself Doing What You Love I wish I could take credit for creating this piece of my survival pack but it was actually my then six year old daughter who came up with the idea. In the morning when I cautioned her to hug gently, she would say, “Let’s imagine your body not hurting. Let’s imagine we are outside playing.” This soon became something she reminded me to do often. People, seeing yourself in a healthy state is so empowering. For me it often meant meditating, looking at photos of myself on days I felt like a million bucks, or just turning a thought of pain into one of myself doing the exact opposite of what was happening to my body. In the video below on epigenetics, they say, “Your beliefs can change your genetic expression.” Now, does this mean your beliefs alone can heal your RA? No, I don’t believe that. But I do believe it is an important piece to the healing process. In the video, it is said, “Your belief can heal you. But the beliefs of those around you can also influence your ability to express your own belief.” Surround yourself with family, friends, and healthcare providers who believe you will get well.
Below are a few posts I have written on visualization.