Self-Empowerment Tips for Living with a Chronic Illness

by | Mar 1, 2022 | Emotional Health | 0 comments

For those of us who are battling chronic illness, it can be easy to fall deep into the feelings of helplessness and frustration. While it may feel like you don’t have control of your condition/illness, you do have the power to take charge of your health journey in many ways. The following tips will show you how to take control of your wellbeing and maximise your recovery.

Higher self-efficacy is linked to better health outcomes

Recent research shows there is a link between confidence and health outcomes. Those with higher levels of self-efficacy and expectations of recovery were subject to a reduction of pain intensity and disability over time. Click here to read more. 

In contrast, those with fear-based movement avoidance and negative beliefs about their recovery were subject to more pain and disability. Therefore, building your confidence in your abilities and having a more positive outlook can have an immense impact on your health journey.

    “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frankyl

    Honour your strengths

    When dealing with a chronic illness for a long period of time, it’s common to manifest negative beliefs about your body. It can be easy to get stuck in a thought cycle of all the things you can’t do when working on healing. However, it is extremely important to also acknowledge your capabilities, strengths, and all the challenges you’ve overcome so far. Remember, you are often more capable than you think.

    If you are still breathing, there’s more right with you than there is wrong with you– Jon Kabat Zinn.

    Knowledge is power

    Research suggests that higher knowledge surrounding health is linked to better health outcomes (read more here and here) and a higher quality of life (read more here ). There has been a movement in the industry recently that encourages patients to not respond to their diagnosis passively, doing whatever the doctor orders, but rather taking an active part in their health journey. For many, this may be researching and understanding their condition as well as exploring what treatment options work best for them. It can be an incredibly empowering thing to be educated around your condition so that you can confidently ask questions and get involved in your journey with your practitioners. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch and we can suggest helpful resources. 

    Education breeds wisdom; wisdom is liberation– Israelmore Ayivor

    Aquire the tools to self-manage

    Create an action plan with your practitioner that you can utilise in given circumstances with your physical and mental health. Tools may include responding to flare-ups with stress-management strategies, symptom-relieving movements or other coping techniques that work for you.

    This will build confidence in your ability to manage your condition independently which is a powerful way to decrease the burden of one’s condition (read more here).  The ability to self-manage illness facilitates patients to live a rich and fulfilling life, despite health conditions.

    I don’t have any choice whether I have Parkinson’s, but surrounding that non-choice is a million other choices that I can make.” – Michael J. Fox

    Get curious about your condition and passionate about your health. The team at Gold Coast Health & Performance encourages our clients to take an active and collaborative role in their health journey, and we’re here to help with every step of that.

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