When you’re sick, it can be hard to stay positive. If it’s a cold or flu and passes quickly, things return to normal after a short time. If you have a chronic, long-term, or life-threatening illness, that can be a much different challenge.
With every illness, there are good and bad days. Sometimes you’ll feel better than at other times. Having good moments and staying positive overall, though, is possible even during illness.
Dealing with a Diagnosis
When you first receive a diagnosis of a serious illness, it can be very difficult to cope with the fear and anger. It’s natural to have these kinds of emotions, even if it’s counterproductive. Give yourself some time to be upset, and then start focusing on all the good that’s still in your life. There are many things to be thankful for, and staying positive can actually help you feeling better longer.
You’ll also have a lot of questions you’ll want to ask, once the diagnosis has had some time to sink in. When you ask questions, ensure you get the information you need from your doctor. If he seems indifferent, it may be time to get a second opinion or a doctor who has a better bedside manner so you feel more hopeful.
What If You’re Sick for a Long Time?
With serious illnesses, you may remain sick for some time. If you spend your time thinking of the good things that are still available to you, you’ll still experience happiness. Even small joys can keep you positive and peaceful when you allow yourself to feel the joy of the moment.
To help you stay joyful, consider these options:
1. Spend time with loved ones. Use this time to get closer to those you care about. Rather than engaging in idle chitchat to pass the time, talk with them about things that really matter to both of you. Share your thoughts, feelings, and desires.
2. What can you do? Focus on things you’re still able to do and enjoy, as opposed to the things you can’t.
3. Help others. You’ll find that doing what you can to help others helps you as well. Focusing on the needs of other people can make you feel better about yourself. For everyone who is facing a serious illness, there are people who are worse off in some way. When you reach out to them, it puts your struggles in perspective and gives you someone to relate to.
4. Use positive affirmations. Replace worry and negative thoughts with positive statements as soon as they appear. With repetition, you’ll begin to do this automatically. Soon, you’ll discover a more peaceful, positive, and joyful mindset, which can also help you physically.
You’ll still face challenging days and trying situations, but there’s happiness to be found even when you’re sick. Be willing to open your heart and mind so you can find that joy. Even with a serious illness, it’s still possible to laugh, love, and experience great joy if you only allow it to come into your life.