This post was written by Katy Lowe from katylowe.com.
Only if we let them!!
Our moods and health issues can often feel like an unending cycle – something physical happening that we are not happy with shows up or flares up and it has our attention. We then try to manage it, deal with it, ignore it and hopefully get some help with it.
So we get some help, a treatment or medication usually and hope for the best. Often we feel better, i.e. something general like a sore throat or a headache it’s managed and we move on.
However, if we deal with something ‘chronic’ or more ongoing, it can become a cause for concern or worry or irritation or discouragement. For many, this ongoing pattern of stress and unhappy thinking will start to gain momentum and in turn, we may develop emotional/mental stress that takes on a life of its own.
When dealing with health concerns, it really is in our best interest to manage our mindset so more problems don’t crop up! Some physical issues you may be dealing with for example:
- Hormones out of balance – thyroid, ovary/reproductive (PMS, PCOS, etc, and adrenal fatigue)
- Digestive/bowel issues (acid reflux, irritable bowel, Crohn’s, colitis)
- Skin complaints, acne, eczema, psoriasis
- High/Low blood sugar
- Depression/Anxiety – that are made worse by unnecessary attention to either.
The bottom line is ‘dealing’ with it can take a toll.
Some days may be better than others, but when you have a few ‘bad days’ in a row – cramps or fatigue, diarrhea and running to the bathroom, bloating and/or constipation, another pimple that deserves a name – it can start to bring you down or cause moodiness that may also start to be a normal occurrence. So normal that you just resign yourself to ‘this is how it is’, and life seems more of a chore.
I can use myself as an example. For over 7 years I dealt with IBS or what is now called IBSD – I also developed anxiety after my constant worry about my problem… For me, the constant thoughts of when I’d need a bathroom or what food might ‘set me off’ became what I thought about as soon as I woke up in the morning. The uncontrolled thoughts of worry also ‘set’ off my symptoms. Lots of fun, let me tell you. My life revolved around my IBS and the anxiety just made everything worse. I also had sleep issues which were a combination of ongoing anxiety and I’m sure depleted vitamins/minerals I didn’t know I was missing.
Here are 4 things you can do to keep from developing patterns of depression, mood swings or anxiety when working towards improving your health issue:
- Start taking notice of when you are doing better. Often we get into a habit of keeping track of or always expecting a flare-up of our issue. A habit worth breaking. Instead, start doing the opposite. Keep track of when you are doing better, less pain, more sleep, fewer trips to the bathroom, no cramps, 5 days with no migraine, 2 whole days of healthier eating etc. You literally have to ‘interrupt’ the old habit and replace with a new one to see change!
- ONLY look up or research other girls/women who have made improvements or recovered from whatever you are dealing with. So important. It’s easy to go down the road of what could go wrong or how many problems this person had or someone who is worse off than you. Ask yourself if reading or hearing those stories feel good or empowering to you. If not…then ignore them. Focus more on what outcome you prefer.
- Stop giving your issue airtime!! No more talking about it to random people – other than your doctor or someone very close to you who is uplifting…it’s not something to keeping ‘magnifying’ just for the sake of ‘talking’ and sharing your stories. One reason I’m not big on most health support groups. (there are exceptions)
- Keep an open mind. Once I decided I had enough of my issues, I made an internal decision to stop settling for feeling crappy. Once I did that, what do you know? An entire whole world opened up to me (herbs and natural healing) and… I got better. 🙂
It happens too often that we go down that road of hard to manage emotional health. It can seem never-ending. You now have some tools for prevention as well as turning around current issues. Knowing how to manage your reactions and daily habits of thought or conversation, will always take you down a different and much more healing path.