Today’s Health Awareness Topic: How mindset affects our health when living with a chronic illness

mindset-and-chronic-illnessIn my over 20 years as a primary care physician, I have noticed a lot of patients living with a chronic illness feel that they have lost their good health. I am here to share with you that does not have to be the case.

As I highlight in my free e-book, it all starts with your mindset. This starts with the following:

  • Acceptance
  • Belief
  • Commitment

Armed with these three attributes, you can make the choice to achieve optimal health despite living with a chronic illness.

What is optimal health?  

Optimal Health is a state of harmony in the body. It is the balance and inner resilience that allows us to meet the demands of living no matter what life throws our way without being overwhelmed.

Our health is never static. Our health is always evolving. Moment by moment and day by day. Our health is the collection of our emotional, physical and spiritual states.

We are learning more and more in the medical field how interconnected our physical state and our mental and emotional states are. This is called the ‘mind-body connection.

This mind-body awareness can also help us to choose how we live with a chronic illness. 

Our body is born with the natural urge to heal itself. When we are in a balanced state this healing can happens easily. For instance, we accidentally cut our hand with a knife whilst cooking. In time the cut heals naturally.

When we disrupt the body’s natural balance, we experience disease (Dis-ease). Only a small proportion of diseases actually have a genetic basis.

Majority of the causes for disease are the result of the lifestyle choices that we make over time. I like to work off the premise that if we know better, we can do better.

Our thoughts impact our overall state of health. How we perceive living with a chronic illness determines the choices that we make. 

Caroline Myss in her best seller book Anatomy of the Spirit writes about the fact that our biography becomes our biology.

We are all living history books. Every thought that you have ever had has traveled through your body and produced a physical response- good or bad. As our lives unfold, our physical health becomes a living, breathing biography. It conveys our strengths, weaknesses, hopes and fears.

A fearful thought such as losing our job, or being diagnosed with cancer stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. It causes the release of stress hormones- adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are responsible for fright, flight or fight. The same fright, flight or fight response occurs if we come face to face with a big grizzly bear whilst on an outdoor camping trip. The sad news is our body does not know the difference between the fear thought and the real fear of being in an endangered situation. They both produce stress in our bodies.

Research shows that sustained stress day in and day out can affect our chromosomes. Stress affects the telomeres that are located at the tip of the chromosomes. When the telomeres break off, they speed up the aging process.

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness elicits a fear response in most people. But it takes a concerted effort to create a mind shift in order to achieve optimal health

This is your responsibility not that of your healthcare provider. 

I am passionate about motivating and inspiring both patients and clients to take an active role in their overall health. It starts with their mindset.

Accept that you are responsible for every part of your life. Your physical history, relationships, every attitude and opinion that you hold or belief that you carry inside yourself, affects your biological makeup.

You may have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or borderline diabetes. Being sad and resigned may seem like natural emotions. But does it make it any easier.

If dealing with a chronic medical condition and your whole mindset is that of hopelessness then this only leads to further dis-ease.

Negative emotions around illness only serve to promote self-suffering

It’s time to make a choice to adapt the ‘ABCs’ of living with a chronic illness so that we can start on the way to optimal health. Accept. Believe. Commit.

If you have not already downloaded a free copy of the first three chapters of my upcoming book “Dr. Eno’s A-Z Guide to Living Powerfully with Type 2 Diabetes” click here.

Until next week, here’s to your health and wellbeing,

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