Coping with Illness
Healthy Mind Approaches to Support Healing
In our culture, we often get the message to “fight,” “be strong,” and “stay positive” when it comes to illness. Many people who first come to my office are living in fear of letting down their guard and have additional stress and pain as a result. This kind of stress can actually have a negative impact on healing and illness prevention.
When dealing with illness, we usually need extra self-care to process feelings of loss and to deal with the changes in relationships, roles, and self-concept that often go along with illness. We also need to feel empowered and comfortable making important decisions about living life, healing, and managing illness.
Caregivers and family members can also benefit from support. Coping with illness can be stressful and bring up feelings of helplessness, guilt, and fear.
You CAN be strong, but getting support and new tools will help.
A healthy mind approach to coping with illness will help you:
- Understand the interplay between illness, relationships, and mind states.
- Target ideal mind states for coping with pain, procedures, decision-making, and communication with loved ones.
- Learn mindfulness and brain-based techniques for promoting those mind states and for greater well-being and stress reduction.
- Provide support and an outlet for dealing with uncertainty and stress to promote healing.