Tag Archives: self-care

Wellness Begins in the Mind

“You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” ~Dale Carnegie

The Road Back to Health

This week I’ve been thinking about healing and how to promote healing. Everyone echoes the battle cry for a war on specific illnesses. Many of us call ourselves warriors. That’s what we feel like anyway. We fight and fight as hard as we can. I really dove into the awareness and observation of this, and I want to share a different perspective. A war on illness may never be won because it only continues to promote the battle for as long as it can. But an understanding that our body is dynamic and always changing, and always functioning the best it can with the resources it has, can lead us forward.

The road back to health always starts with the mind. For example, this past week I had a buildup of stress with my workload and family responsibilities. And stress, we know, can be a tipping point for many of us with fibro. One morning I woke up with vertigo. My first reaction was “no, no, NO!” I initially experienced panic and anxiety, followed by frustration. My upset was not specifically about physically not being able to get out of bed without falling over.

Uncertainty

My thoughts were racing because I was anticipating not being able to do all the things, I was responsible for that day. (You would think after dealing with fibro for over 20 years I would be used to my life being interrupted by a symptom from out of nowhere) But my mind was reeling with the consequences of the predicament I was in—the fear of the limitation that this physical ailment was placing on me. I immediately texted my husband who was in the other room and asked him to help me get out of bed.

The inconvenience caused uncertainty. How long was this going to last (because with fibro we never know, right?) How far was this going to put my work behind? And lastly, I thought what the heck caused this? There comes another whole set of fears with questioning cause. Our mind can just run wild with that! (Just in case you are wondering, we believe my vertigo was caused by trigger points in the scalene muscles in my neck. I got trigger point therapy and a chiropractic adjustment. By the next day I was much better, but totally exhausted.)

Reminder that the Body is Perfectly Designed

During this ordeal I had to stop my runaway mind and remind myself that my body is perfectly designed to do the best it can with the tools it has. And those tools are mostly biochemical. The biochemical is influenced by many things such as nutrition, sleep, movement or exercise, being outdoors, stress… and my thoughts… aha! I had been under stress, not remembering to take my dietary supplements to support my muscles and energy, and not thinking positively and as balanced as I should have been. I knew better and it still snuck up on me!

Become a Peaceful Warrior Filled with Love

So here is the low down. Loving thoughts that produce self-compassionate emotions are best for us in situations like this. Especially if we can pause in the moment and realize that our health and well-being has gotten off track. Emotions (e-motion) are energy in motion in our body, and they produce biochemicals that can alter how our body functions and responds. Once you learn this, you can begin to monitor what you are thinking and then when you can catch yourself saying or thinking something negative you can counteract that thought.

So back to the beginning. You can never win a war on an illness by fighting. When you are fighting you are against something, usually because you are fearful, and angry, and frustrated. All these emotions come from the root of fear. But we can become peaceful warriors filled with love that provides sustenance and tools for our physical body through courage, faith, conviction, belief, and love.

Loving Thoughts, Encouraging Affirmations and Prayers of Gratitude

Send loving thoughts and feelings to your physical body, saying encouraging affirmations, and prayers of gratitude that your body is dynamic and able to change for the better. This will give it what it needs to function properly because the body listens to our hearts and words.

When an event occurs in illness or life, it is better to take a moment and choose how you want to respond versus reacting from your initial emotion about it. And YES, we always have a choice. Your choice should match your values, that which you believe in. Respond to your body or physical circumstance with a treatment or remedy that you believe will support your recovery. Never do something that others say you have to do. You must believe in the treatment for it to work, to have the greatest benefit. And yes, there are numerous studies on this, but that is a big topic for another day.

Here are some things to remember for healing and recovery:

  •  Realize where your body is starting from and know that you can make the changes internally in the body, and externally in your environment and life that can lead to healing. Realizing where you are in health and accepting an illness are two different things. Realizing where you are and believing your body has that ability to heal is most important. (And there is ALWAYS the possibility of healing. I’ve known people that have totally healed and recovered when they were told they would not.)
  •  Remember to love your body and not to declare war on the illness because it is inside your body, and if you fight on your own terrain there will be collateral damage. Your body is always doing the best it can with the tools it has. Instead of declaring war, LOVE your body and nourish the internal injury or malfunctioning system to increase its capacity and empower it to function properly. Add plenty of superfoods, sleep, fresh air, time in nature, and for goodness sakes find something to be grateful for and somehow feel joy.
  • BELIEVE in the loving care and treatment you choose. A brave warrior doesn’t want to fight and doesn’t want to kill. A brave peaceful warrior is about having the courage to confront the obstacle and determine a best course of action to take to overcome peacefully. It is not about using anger and force, but about finding a resolution quickly and easily. It is not about decimating the internal opponent (whether it is in your mind or physical body – they are really one in the same when you understand the energy of emotion producing the chemicals that are feeding your body), but it’s about reaching a solution for supporting the most favorable outcome. In the case of your body, listen to what your body needs and give it that nourishment.

For example, did you know if you give your body chlorophyll (the green stuff found in plants) and go out in the sun, that you can support your ATP which is the energy in your cells. Chlorophyll is similar to our hemoglobin in our blood, so this makes sense. This is a simple solution for those that aren’t able to eat enough greens in their diet. Try taking chlorella tablets and using a sun lamp a few minutes a day if you are in an overcast and cold environment. This can lift the mood, and the mood can support loving emotions, and the emotions can release healthy biochemicals to support a healthy body, along with the chlorophyll supporting the energy in the cells.

Visualize Energy, Stamina, and Endurance

Consciously visualize the inside of the body being filled with a warm and thriving paradise. Say affirmations over and over like “thank you for this energy, stamina, and endurance.” I did this for 2 years every morning and evening during my worst bout with fibro flareups, before the results were exactly what I wanted after almost giving up. Two years might seem like a long time but compared to the last ten years that I have been doing well, it was a short time to practice this ultimate self-care. I’ve learned that I am worth the time and effort to put into my healing because now I have the capacity to give to others. And you are worth it too!!

The Ripple Effect

There is a ripple effect. What can you do in life when you are able, that would help others, your family, your community, the world? Your life and contribution (even if it is a smile and wave to your neighbor) counts!! The ripple effect is far reaching and continuous.

Today take the steps to conquer your reality in 10 minutes at a time by declaring love and committing nourishment to your body instead of war. Decide what else you can do to nourish your body, what extra support can you give yourself, such as food, dietary supplements, sleep, and calm quiet reflection time remembering that wellness begins in the mind. And when you are all better and have reached the health that you have your mind set on, what will you share or do for others, your family, friends, community. When you recover, where will you create your ripple effect?

If you want more inspiration, here are several books that are sure to encourage you:

  • It’s the Thought That Counts: Why Mind Over Matter Really Works by David R. Hamilton
  • You Can Heal Your Life by Lousie Hay
  • The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
  • The Isaiah Effect: Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy by Gregg Braden
  • The Spontaneous Healing of Belief: Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits by Gregg Braden
  • Dying to be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani

Hearts & (gentle) Hugs my friends,

Dr. Jen

 

 

 

Celebrating Small Wins Can Make Big Changes

Do you ever feel defeated because of your experience with fibromyalgia? That is easy to do. No lie, I have often felt like giving up. If you are living with fibro, it might feel like you can’t keep up—especially with everyone else (your family, your co-workers, or those that you admire). It’s hard not to compare yourself.

I know how it feels to be too tired to do the things that you want to do, let alone the things you need to do like regular chores, or running errands. I know how defeating it can feel when you have things you want to accomplish and you either just don’t have the energy or are in too much pain.

Focus on Solutions

The first thing I want to encourage is to stop beating yourself up mentally. If you are suffering from fatigue or pain, focus on the solutions to recovery instead of the things you can’t do. I know from my own experience, I’ve spent way too much time and energy being mad at my body, and guess what!? That just pushes me down even more.

However, when I recognize and accept where I am physically and mentally, I can address my needs. When I take care of myself in that moment, hour, day, week, then I improve my chances of getting back on track to work on my to-do list (or as I call it, my remember list 😊, actually a to-do list stresses me out.)

Small Wins

Do you ever pat yourself on the back when you accomplish something on your to-do list? I DO! And you should too because everything that you can check off is a big deal! The fact that you’re living with chronic health challenges means you never know when you are going to be able to do the things you want to. So, if you can check something off, definitely celebrate it.

Another reason to allow yourself to feel that small accomplishment is because our experiences and our responses to our experiences will affect our body chemistry. If you had a small win and feel good about it, it could support more feel-good neurotransmitters that just might promote more potential within you.

Using your recognition of small wins can only inspire. When you feel good about yourself, the body chemistry just may allow you to be able to check one more thing off.

The Big Deal

What’s the big deal? As you accept where you are mentally and physically when you are attempting to do the things you want, you will be less likely to push yourself. What happens when you push past your current mental and physical limits with fibro? It may set you back two steps, four steps, or even feel like 10 steps behind. That can make you feel like you lost any momentum you worked so hard to gain. The big deal here is that as you learn to manage your life with fibro you may have better and better days.

The Key is Feel-Good Chemistry

The key is to recognize where you are and feel good about what you do get done. Feeling satisfied with yourself creates thoughts that support self-esteem. And we know positive thoughts about yourself, can help create your own natural feel-good brain and body chemistry that will support your next efforts to accomplishing your goals.

I know if you are a fibro newbie it may feel like you need to fight, fight, fight. But as a 20-year fibro veteran I know that learning to live life with your own balance, without the stress of fighting the uphill battles, will get you much farther in the long run.

The Good Life Strategy

I do not like to ever admit that there are limits because I know that there are almost always ways around limits. I much rather look at fibromyalgia lifestyle management as strategy. So, celebrate those small wins, they do count! If you did the laundry today, if you went to work, made dinner, or even showered, you did great and don’t let anyone tell you any different.

Stick with me and you can develop your own fibro life strategy. Celebrating small wins boosts your mood and a good mood helps you feel better so that you can do more of what you want. I am offering a Mood & Motivation Challenge for Women with Fibro. It’s easy and free, so you are welcome to join me here: https://jenbickerton.ck.page/b97ea7f466

Celebrating you, my friend!

Hearts & (gentle) Hugs,
Dr. Jen