Illness can be sometimes life-changing. May it be a family member or yourself, as it has made an impact and affected your existence. There are possibilities that one had imagined himself/herself in a professional role or going on an adventure trip which remained unaccomplished. And most often you are likely to feel a lack in the different areas of your life, may it be professional, self, relationships or any other areas. So why this happens?
This is based on your psychological and biological functioning. Psychological in terms of thoughts, behaviors, emotions and biological in terms of hormones, genetic composition. When both your mind and body are in the state of the prolonged state due to the illness, there is a possibility that some of us tend to close ourselves. It may be not going for a reunion, leaving a job, dreaming about the future or anything. Some individuals, on the other hand, begin to explore new avenues in their lives. Staying in such prolonged states makes you more likely to under-determine your potentials and will-power to look at your life in a positive way. So, how does one shift to positive alternatives?
Reframing is a process of changing how you look at something such as thought, behaviour or any experience with a positive alternative. Reframing can be done by reviewing the areas of your life and identifying the disruptive thoughts and replacing it with a positive alternative. For instance - positively reframing a negative thought about oneself “I am unlovable.” to “I am lovable.” which is more nurturing instead of criticizing. As you reframe your perceptions and responses, you begin to change your outlook towards a more positive direction. Shifting to positive reframing not only helps you with changing your outlook but also helps you to reconstruct/ rebuild yourself again. You might have come across life stories/ experiences of individuals about undergoing a chronic illness they have either overcome or managing Furthermore, building their motivations from there. So how can one reframe one’s own life goals and build positive outcomes?
Ask yourself- Some empowering questions
It is overwhelming to look at your schedule or to do lists packed with things that give us stress and boredom. Move beyond it, and begin to think about the things are empowering you, such as how do you see ourselves three years from now, how does your bucket list look like. Begin to look beyond the small stressors that are limiting you from looking at the bigger picture, invest your thoughts and energy on it in a growth perspective.
Shifting mindset: As mentioned previously reframe every single thought or action in your day. Move towards a positive frame of mind and being. Eliminate - not, but, if and bring in the possibilities of growth in the direction you wish to be. Move towards positive coping.
Appreciating and accepting: The part that you have come all this way is an achievement in itself. So, appreciate yourself for every milestone you achieved on this long journey. Every time you go back to negative thoughts and feelings about yourself, replace them with some positive ones. It may be the way you look, the way you talk, the way your dress or anything because you are who you are.
Some affirmations and exercise: Get into a daily habit of writing some positive affirmations to rewire our brain to raise feel-good hormones and push the brain to form some new clusters of positive thoughts. Also, just giving yourself an hour of exercising can not only help in better functioning of your body but your mind as well. You can choose from a wide range nowadays such as yoga, meditation, pilates, zumba, gymming, cycling or just dancing maybe.
Believe in yourself: Understand that recovery is in the process and you have come all this way. Look into the mirror and just say- I believe in myself. It may sound funny but have you ever told this to ourselves before anyone else told us. It takes nothing but you to do that for yourself, just be willing and hold on to yourself.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. -Victor Frankl