Monday, September 22, 2008

Positivity - When Health Issues Get in the Way (Part 2)

You may say, "It is all just great to say you are going to stay positive even when you feel yucky, but when reality hits, it is just too hard!" That is why I am doing a follow up here. I need more that just positive intentions. I need plans: tips and techniques to use to keep myself positive when my body is hurting or my emotions are out of whack!

Here is my plan for staying positive when health issues get me down. The first step is letting go of perfectionism and accepting myself. So much in staying positive boils down to letting go of perfectionism. One of the reasons I get negative when I am not feeling well is because I can't do as much as well as I think I should. Instead of letting the negative internal chatter arise, I need to say, "Wait! I am me! I am doing my best right now, and this is good enough. I am good enough just the way I am!"

The second step is recognizing that I have needs and taking care of them as best as I can. If I am in pain, and I keep "doing" instead of resting, I am going to have a much harder time staying positive than if I take some time off and take care of me! If I have a cold, I need to slow down and find ways to support myself. Listening to my body and mind, I can make better decisions which will make it easier to stay positive.

The third thing I can do is to recognize the advantages of positivity. Negativity serves no purpose. It is a waste of my energy and can make things worse. Being positive, finding the positives, and looking forward to positives in the future are all great ways to make sure that I am living life to the fullest and not letting negativity make my illnesses worse.

One last note, one of the worse things about being negative is how it affects your relationships with others. When you are sick, you need positive relationships with other people more than ever. It might be tempting to think on some level that if you are complaining and letting people know how bad you feel, they will feel sorry for you and be more likely to help. With those who love us the most, this might work to a certain extent, but it definitely isn't the ideal. No one likes a complainer. It is OK to tell others that you have a health issue, and to ask for help and support when you need it. Facing your health issues with a positive, matter of fact attitude is the better way to go about it. If you are a positive, fun person to be around, people will be far more likely to want to be with you and help you out when you need it. I would much rather have others near me who genuinely like and care about me, than those who pity me.

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