How to Shift Your Mindset to the Positive

How to put yourself into a positive frame of mind each day for women with IBD
Many thanks to @bulldog_bonnie for the use of this image. You can follow her on Instagram! Go on you know you want to! She is too adorable!

One of the hardest things can be actually staying positive when you are in the middle of a flare. It’s hard to see the positive in your life when you are stuck in the hospital tied up to a bunch of different IV’s & you can’t move! But I’m here to tell you that there absolutely is a way to see the positive DESPITE all the struggles and current challenges you are going through!

“How Jana? How can I do that when all I see is medical this and medical that!! It’s all too real! Doctor’s appointments, insurance phone calls, piles of medical bills, numerous medications to take, trips to the bathroom, testing, bloodwork…the list goes on!!!! It just takes over my entire life.”

Believe me, I know exactly what you are talking about because I have been there and I’m still there!! That is just the medical side of your journey, and the management and upkeep of your disease. That side of your life does NOT define who you are! Those are just things that you must do. Granted they are usually annoying and frustrating things that you don’t want to do!

I can’t take away all those things that we have to go through. And I say “we” because I’m right there with you! What we CAN do is change our outlook on the situation we deal with daily! All it requires is a simple shift in your focus! If you consistently see your day as an annoying frustrating thing that you don’t want to deal with. You are inevitably going to bring yourself down. Why not take a few minutes to think about what REALLY matters in your life and what really makes you happy as a person! And then focus your life around those things!! The rest of the pieces will fall into place or can be worked around what really matters.

How do we begin changing our mindset?? Here are a few tips that I have found helpful!
I have to be honest with you though–You have to be WILLING to change your mindset and look at things differently. If you aren’t willing, then these tips will not help you. You have to want a change in your life for the better. That being said here are my tips:

Decide what your priorities are! This world we live in truly has us all focused on the wrong things. Work comes first because we gotta pay the bills, right? Guess what!? Life is NOT about money! Or at least it shouldn’t be! Why? Because it is just paper. Period. You can’t take it with you. Enough said. Our priorities should be our own health, our family and what makes us happy! Because let’s be brutally honest with ourselves–if we don’t get any enjoyment out of our lives…what is the point?!? We NEED to make our happiness and enjoyment a priority in life! {And I say this very specifically for those of us with chronic illness because our days are so often spent managing our disease complications.} If we LET our total and complete focus be about everything medical that’s going on with our bodies and don’t leave room for anything else–I don’t know about you, but for me that gets really depressing really fast! And I don’t want that for any of us! So check where your priorities lie and find the time for what matters most in your life!

Change your thought patterns! As soon as a negative thought pops in your head, make note! Then try spinning that into a positive! How could you look at that thought in a different light?
For example–

Negative thought–“There is no way I am going to get through this day. I have absolutely no energy!”

Positive Spin– “I am fatigued today, but I will do the best I can like always. I won’t feel guilty if I need to take a few naps.”

Notice, how the second thought is kind. If you start thinking in a kinder way with yourself, you will see a change in your happiness levels too. Go easy on yourself, because this is a hard journey! It is hard for anyone to deal with! You are no exception, so be kind! Another way to think about it is–what advice would you give to your best friend if she were going through the same thing? Wouldn’t you be honest and kind with her? Do the same with yourself!
And I’d also like to point out how the positive spin is realistic. It’s not fluff or sugar coated. It’s isn’t lying to yourself or fooling yourself. It is realistic and training yourself to think in a kinder more positive way. It will take a little time to get better at shifting your thoughts to the bright side!

Remember your Blessings! Maybe it’s the lovely kids you have, your puppy dog, or your spouse that you are thankful for every day! It could also be your amazing doctor that you were lucky enough to find! The gastro nurse you call every week with a new problem and she listens! Focus on the good in your life! And most importantly, do it EVERY SINGLE DAY! Ever since I stopped and took the time to look at all the good things in my life, I have noticed I am much happier on the inside. I have more of an inner peace. Now do I have bad days! Absolutely, I am a human! But each time I grow and learn more.

Do something for yourself! Take 20-30 minutes a day to do something that fuels your soul! Something that makes you happy. It could be reading, painting, drawing, or even playing video games. As long as you get enjoyment out of it. This is such a simple concept but so often as women we just forget! Why? Because there is some weird notion that we have to put everyone else’s needs above our own. No! You are not selfish for taking care of yourself. You know when you get on an airplane and they give you the emergency safety speech? They mention that you should always put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others! Why? Because you can’t help others until you’ve helped yourself! So…no arguing just go do something for yourself!

I hope you find these tips helpful! I know they have helped me to really think about what matters most for me in my life! It is actually one of the reasons that I started this here blog! It fuels my soul. I know that writing about my journey is likely helping others going through the same things and in turn it helps me!

I’d love to hear your feedback if you try any of these tips! What works for you in keeping yourself positive? I love hearing your ideas and tips too!

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