This was sent to me and I wanted to post it here because it has a lot of great points. As always do your own research and feel free to ask Ashley any questions you may have.
How to Live Strong: Dealing With a Difficult Diagnosis by Jackie Waters
All of us, at some point, in some way, will receive news that will change our lives. Some people might receive it in the form of a painful diagnosis. Perhaps you have been informed of a difficult condition or one that might mean living with chronic pain. This type of news might initially be met with disbelief, denial, and even anger. Becoming aware of a few key tips might help you to get through the shock and to a point where you start thinking clearly and can live your life to the fullest.
Give Yourself Time
A difficult chronic pain diagnosis requires time. This is due to the fact that immediate reactions may include denial and anger, which make it difficult to take in important information and think rationally about your treatment options and course of action. Instead of rushing into a decision or giving in to the panic or fear, take a deep breath, relax, and let the news sink in. Talk to trusted and close family members. Allow yourself to accept the news and gain some clarity.
Learn About Your Condition
It is important to learn about your condition. By understanding what your body is going through, you empower yourself as a patient and are better equipped to investigate and ask your doctor questions and articulate doubts. An informed patient is an engaged patient, and it makes for a more conscious awareness of treatments, medications, and results. Psychology Today suggests building or attending support groups, where useful advice and information is shared.
Embrace Lifestyle Changes
Most chronic conditions that are diagnosed will require you to make some lifestyle change. This might mean changing your diet, implementing exercise and physical activity, or quitting smoking. The best you can do is embrace these changes and approach them with vigor and enthusiasm, as this is your gateway to remaining healthy and mitigating pain. Consider the following changes:
- Exercise: If you have chronic pain, exercise might be the last thing you want to do. As SpineUniverse reports, exercise is important because strong muscles support bones better. Remaining active also helps joints, helps avoid weight gain and obesity, and improves mental health. Try exercises such as yoga, walking, weight training, and swimming.
- Diet: Eating foods that are anti-inflammatory can mitigate some of the inflammation causing your pain. Some of these include ginger, turmeric, salmon, and olive oil, among others. Also, stay away from sugars and alcohol.
Making lifestyle changes and informing yourself is a good start. Another way is to take control of your environment. Make necessary modifications to your home or office space that can help you in relaxation and promoting optimism and positivity. Here are some tips:
- Meditation can fortify your mind and not only help you fight stress and anxiety, but even help mitigate pain. The Atlantic reported how meditation can be used to reduce pain intensity in patients.
- Create a peaceful home environment. After the diagnosis, it might be normal to feel a little isolated and to look for a place to be alone to take in your new reality. Your surroundings become profoundly important when coping with difficult emotional stress. Try removing clutter from your house and doing a deep cleaning. This will rid your home of negative energy. Your brain is actually hardwired to respond positively to order. Your brain tends to relax when there is order, and it will leave you feeling calm and energized. So consider reorganizing closets, garages, and cabinets for a more relaxed space.
- Create your own meditation space. It’s always good to have a space just for yourself where you can be at peace, relax, and rejuvenate yourself.
Receiving difficult medical news is stressful. Living with chronic pain takes courage and determination. Making lifestyle changes is not easy. However, the little things in life will help make you stronger and better be able to cope with what’s ahead. Don’t give in to fear or sadness; instead, take control of your life, inform yourself, make decisions, and live life to the fullest.
Photo Credit: Pixabay (photo could not be uploaded..)