Article submission by Jackie Waters 11.30.17

How to Live Strong: Dealing With a Difficult Diagnosis

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.
Take Control
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.