“At any given moment you have the power to say this is NOT how the story is going to end. ” ~ Author Unknown
Many of us have received or know someone who has received a serious medical diagnosis. Perhaps a terminal pronouncement. Even with access to second and possibly more professional opinions, despair and resignation often sets in.
This post is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and treatment. And I’m not advocating self-diagnosis. What I am trying to create awareness around is that you are not always your diagnosis. To significant extents, in some cases, one’s physical and mental wellness is more about perspective, choice, and mindset.
A diagnosis is inherently a label that denotes that sickness or pathology is present. Invariably, a diagnosis is then associated with negative emotional responses and assumptions, which stimulate stress responses to varying degrees.
In reality, a diagnosis reflects an imbalance in the body that is caused by a variety of factors – genetics and lifestyle behaviors being just two of them. When someone understands they are not their diagnosis, nor are they prisoners to it, they start the process of breaking free from limiting beliefs and labels. This opens the door to the possibility that a positive outcome is possible.
Illness and life problems can be reckoned with and other options for outcomes are possible. People have a choice about how they are going to go about handling their challenge(s).
Modern (Western) medicine offers success rates for recovery greater than ever before, even for serious illnesses. Some situations that would have been considered hopeless are now viewed as fairly commonplace, with patients routinely surviving and thriving. Even with medical advancements, though, there are still conditions where modern medicine holds no promise of recovery. For these patients, as well as those who simply prefer to explore treatment outside the medical mainstream, there is an ever-growing arena of alternative medicine approaches.
Given that “it’s not always so,” there are many things one can do if diagnosed with a serious ailment. Among them, these three:
- Do what makes you happy first. Sometimes one can feel like they’re going through days on autopilot. That can get tedious and depressing. Consider starting the day off on a positive note by engaging in an enjoyable activity. This can completely shift one’s outlook and lift the spirit.
- Help someone else. Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. It can take your mind off of more challenging things and you’ll likely feel better helping someone else.
- Take time to strengthen/rejuvenate your mind and body. The treatment road ahead could be grueling and you’ll want to be in good physical and emotional condition. Go on long hikes in the mountains, eat super healthy foods, and meditate. Picture yourself (if the patient is you) healthy and visualize good strong blood cells destroying whatever has invaded your body.
There is truth to the saying “mind over body.” Augmenting positive beliefs with positive lifestyle changes, can yield amazing outcomes. I know this.