Long-term illness can be devastating to both individuals and their families. Fighting against diseases such as cancer isn’t just about the effects of the symptoms, but also the mental and physical strain of struggling against an enemy that can seem impossible to beat.
While medical treatments are always the best hope, there is documented evidence that a positive mental attitude can help you battle against both short and long-term illnesses. Being able to smile is vital to everyone’s wellbeing, and it’s no different with illnesses. A spirited, positive fight from both you and your loved ones is one of the most important things in the face of long-term illness.
Below are some ideas for positive thinking during your fight against a long-term illness.
1) A Small Chance is Always a Chance
The first and most important: always bear in mind that nothing is over until it’s over, and that what you have is worth fighting for. Long-term illnesses can seem all-encompassing and can come to form a part of a person’s identity. This thought can give you strength.
Remember that you are the person who is going to defy the odds, rather than the odds being against you. As long as there’s something to fight for, keep fighting.
So many frightening illnesses are treatable; even surviving mesothelioma is possible. It’s the person who really wants to survive that perseveres in the end.
2) Bring Joy, and Let Others Bring You Joy
One of the harshest struggles when fighting long-term illness is the effect it has on your close relationships. It’s so important that your loved ones help to keep your spirits up, and equally important that wherever you can, you give them reason to smile. When you can make people smile even when you’re struggling with an illness, they will return your affection a hundred times over.
People will understand when everything seems like it’s too much to bear. However, knowing that people see you as a source of laughter and light is a massive mental boost for you. This mindset helps you allay thoughts that the illness is putting up barriers between you and those you love.
3) Consider What You Don’t Need
The struggle with a long-term illness will put a lot of things into perspective for you. While a long-term condition is a far heavier burden than most everyday stresses of life, it can actually be helpful to realize how trivial small stressors are in comparison.
Think about what you want to be in your life when your health recovers, and what you don’t want to be in your life any more. When you beat an illness, you’re a superhero, and you don’t need all the tiny anxieties creeping back in. No more stressing about inviting houseguests over or whether your outfit is too bold. Once you beat an illness, nothing can stop you.
4) Remember You’re Not Alone
Having friends and family with whom you can share joy is a wonderful thing. It goes beyond just the people who are around you in your illness, though. You’re also one of so many people who are undergoing a similar fight; you’re part of the community of patients, doctors and individuals who all labor to struggle and defeat long-term illnesses. You’re all fighting for the same cause, and it’s good to remember that.
When you successfully fight for your life, you’re striking a blow and setting an example for the many people who are in similar circumstances. Remaining positive for them is important and heroic, and it helps so much to know that you’re making the world better by never giving in.