You have just been diagnosed with kidney disease and your world is completely shaken. You don’t quite know what that means and what the consequences are. You begin by having talks with your doctor and specialists, and it all sounds grim, dark, and hopeless. You just want to forget it all, and hope that it was a dream: “Nothing a new dawn couldn’t fix”.
This is the usual beginnings of someone that has been diagnosed with kidney disease as they make their way through the Kübler-Ross cycle (denial-anger-bargaining-depression-acceptance). Once one is past the initial denial stage it is important to keep a positive outlook, not just because it will be emotionally and mentally easier (i.e. less stressful), but a positive mindset is probably the single biggest factor in healing yourself from any condition.
It is now proven – through the works of Dr. Candace Pert and Bruce Lipton Ph. D. – that the mind affects the body in a very physiological way. Think sad, X molecules are produced, think happy, Y molecules are produced, think negative, Z molecules are produced, and so on and so on. This creates a cascade of physiological events and affects our bodies in a profound way (whether they be positive or negative).
It is therefore prudent to keep a positive outlook and to work on keeping that positive outlook even when you are not feeling great, and on top of things. You don’t want to keep yo-yoing between happiness and sadness all the time (well I hope not). It is emotionally and physically exhausting. Why not keep yourself maintained at an optimum level by continually practicing a few simple methods?
Here are 5 simple – yet powerful – tips to hone your mindset to happiness and create lasting health
1. Throw away the labels you have on yourself
One of the first things people like to do is bash themselves up mentally when something goes wrong. We like to tell ourselves that we are ‘bad’, or that we should have done ‘X’, or that suffering from kidney disease should be hidden from other people, because “what will other people think?” Get rid of it all, because it is weighing you down and placing limitations on yourself.
2. Your problems are dirty treasures
Some of the most successful people in the world most often state that it was a period of hardship (or even extreme hardship) that gave them the motivation and sense of direction to achieve their biggest successes in life. How is your condition any different? It is not. Some of the greatest healings occur through disease. Think of Lance Armstrong – he didn’t win the Tour De France until he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and then he won seven Tour De France championships off the back of it. Other people with chronic diseases haven’t necessary had the obvious outward successes, but their inner journey has been just as profound: some by facing death have appreciated their life more, others have found that it has brought their relationship with family members to a whole new level, others have found themselves, and there are countless other inner discoveries and learning that have occurred. So what is yours? Only you can answer that. But you can be sure there is a blessing in disguise just waiting to be discovered if you dare to look. Look beyond the ugly exterior of the disease, and see what gifts lay within.
3. See problems or challenges as many pieces
How did they build the Great Wall of China? One – brick – at – a – time. For many of us we give up before we even lay the first brick because the end goal (or result) looks like mission impossible, or just downright hard. Well I am here to say that it isn’t. All you need is a little faith, commitment, and know-how (that’s where I come in :-)). In actual fact, it is just reprogramming new habits, and once it is a habit it is a walk in the park. So take baby steps, place one brick at a time, worry about just this day and the choice that lays in front of you, set small achievable goals, and before you know it you will be the new you!
4. Have an attitude of gratitude
Having an attitude of gratitude keeps you focused on what you do have, and what you want (rather than focusing on lack). Start each day with writing down five things you are grateful for. You may repeat yourself from day to day; though try to think of something different. You may write for example: “I am so happy and grateful for… my great vision and hearing to see my grandchildren, and hear their laughter … or … the roof over my head which keeps my family safe and secure … or … my beautiful pets that give me unconditional love and companionship … or … my car that allows we to see the great sites around me. Whatever it is that makes you feel grateful, write in down and feel the feelings that they create! This is powerful. Another useful tip is to write down (in the present tense) that you are grateful for the healing you are receiving, or, that you now have completely healed your kidneys. This is a form of affirmation and will activate healing at a deep level. “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” Buddha
As mentioned before the mind-body connection is inseparable. Not only does a healthy mind create a healthy body, but a healthy body creates a healthy mind – And nothing propels that faster than exercise. If you think about death as a physical state, you would imagine a stiff, rigid and hard corpse. If you think about life as a physical state, you would think about kids running, jumping, bending, and flexing… basically moving! Therefore the very act of moving brings life, but on a different level it triggers ‘happy’ hormones to be produced. So you think and feel better, and also it is a good way to release pent up negative energy (a kind of active mediation if you wish). Now, I only have one tip for exercise, and that is to keep it FUN. I don’t care what some experts say, the simple fact of the matter is if you are not having fun while exercising (or at the very least enjoying it), then you are on the fast road of giving up and not exercising again. So get out there and try different things. Whether it be: Golf, weights, yoga, squash, kick-boxing, tai chi, Pilates, kiteboarding, skateboarding, martial arts, walking, running, jogging, swimming, pump class, bike riding, mountain hiking, walking the dogs, personal training, spin classes, skipping… OR WHATEVER, get out there and get active!
So there you have it folks, those are my top 5 tips to help you keep positive, and focused on your desired health goals. Note these tips can be used for keeping a positive mindset no matter what the challenge is. I hope that these help you a lot, and if you think of any other tips that might be a help to others please leave a comment down below and let me know about them.
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