How to be Successful in Your Fight Against Chronic Illness

I was asked to share what it was that specifically helped me.

For me, the biggest change seemed to come when my counselor offered me hope, by reassuring me that FND was beatable,  I was able to begin changing my doomsday thoughts from, “This is a permanent condition,” or “I’ll always live with pain,” to “I will recover,” and “I have a great future ahead of me.”

This is a bullet point list of all the things I continue to do at home…things which healed my mind and body.

  • Stop feeding any and all negativity (this includes watching, reading, and listening to materials that do not have an uplifting message).  For me, the news and social media were big sources of stress.
  • Eat healthy.  My diet used to consist of only fast foods, which gave my body nothing with which to combat the physical symptoms of FND.
  • No work pressure.  For me, I was unable to work due to the paralysis that FND brought, but I recommend that anyone with high functioning FND take a hiatus from their job,  Jobs, especially here in America, are big sources of stress that can fuel the disorder.
  • Calm your mind.  Eliminate all-or-nothing thinking, let go of the things you can’t control, and don’t allow your mind to spiral into dark places.  Oftentimes, antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds will help with this.
  • Relaxation and sunshine.  20 minutes of morning sun is a good start, but try working up to at least 40 minutes a day.  The vitamin D wards off depression.
  • Be creative.  Even though it seems like an excessive amount of time, exercise the creative side of your brain for 2 hours each day.  This can include: crafting, baking, journaling, painting, etc. This has been scientifically proven to “lighten the load” on the intelligent side of our brains (the side that manufactures trouble).
  • Feed the positive.  Listen to uplifting music (read the lyrics as they play), watch and read feel-good things.  For me, I enjoy watching Hallmark movies, reading a good news website called SunnySkyz, and falling asleep to gospel music.
  • Journal.  I write 3 pages a day.  First page is written throughout the day, as all the positives of that 24 hours.  For instance, “drank hot cocoa,” or “visited with a kind neighbor.”  Second page is a gratitude list.  Third page consists of positive affirmations (qualities I have or wish to have).

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