What You Can Do Right Now to Feel Better
Dealing with a chronic illness is not easy. Instead, it is something that is hard to cope with and understand. With an illness, people sometimes get stuck in the past. They start thinking about getting back to their previous lives or wish they were just ‘normal’ again. Alternatively, people will start to future trip or worry extensively.
However, what happens, if you stop thinking about the past or future? What happens if you begin to stop and be present? Click To Tweet What happens if you slow your day down? What happens when you notice how you are feeling in the here and now?
Do you notice a lot of pain? Are you fixated on everything that seems wrong with you? Do you feel inadequate or have a lot of negative self-talk? Or do things seem okay? Are you having a good day? Are you noticing things you cherish?
If you feel worn down by your illness at the present moment, then there is one thing that can help you mold your attitude for the better: keeping a gratitude journal.
Gratitude Journal? What’s That?
A gratitude journal is where you take 5 minutes out of your day, every day to list the top three things you are grateful for. It can be anything from your cell phone to a family member. It’s a simple task and can have remarkable benefits on your health. Keeping a gratitude journal is known to help people:
- be less stressed
- sleep at night
- relax & unwind
- be happier during the day
- combat depression
- & so much more.
Not to mention it also enables you to gain a new perspective on what is important and what you appreciate in your life. Noting what you are grateful for helps you gain clarity on what you want more of in your life and helps you get rid of negative thoughts and feelings. It is a focus on what truly matters to you, and it is a good way to become self-aware.
A Safe Space
Best of all, a gratitude journal is a safe space. It is for your eyes only, so that you can put down what you want without any judgment from others. Then, on days when you are feeling less than great, you can read your journal back to yourself and remember what is good in your life. This focus on positivity is life changing for people with a chronic illness because it helps people recognize that they are more than their illness.
Danielle Faith is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and is a chronic pain patient. Her friends would describe her as optimistic, persistent, and resilient. Danielle runs a peer to peer support website dedicated to mental illness awareness, chronic pain, and DBT self help guides.