Find What Brings You Joy
ink, markers, pencil crayons
One of the most valuable tools on my healing journey from chronic illness has been a willingness to shift my attitude and focus. The process that has worked best for me goes something like this:
• Find things that bring me joy to do or think about (gardening, art, cats, nature)
• Do them as often as I can
• When I can’t do them, think of doing them – imagine and envision it as richly as I can
and also, very importantly:
• Note what does not bring me joy (thinking about MCS stuff, limitations)
• Refrain from doing or thinking about it whenever possible
• When I notice myself thinking about something that doesn’t bring me joy, STOP
• … and consciously choose to think about (or better yet do) one of the things that does bring me joy
This may seem extremely simplistic or sound like those irritating people who tell us to “think positive” but it has done wonders for me on my healing journey.
There is a real mind/body connection – and not in a “new-agey” sense.
When we do things that feed our joy, a whole bunch of positive things happen physiologically in our bodies – making them much more able to heal or deal with stressors, exposures etc.
When we feed our pain, a whole bunch of negative things happen in the body – encouraging illness.
I have read that when we simply think of doing something, similar things happen in the brain and body. So if we cannot actually DO the things that bring us joy, merely thinking of doing them can have wonderful physical effects – not to mention the great effect on our mood!
Shifting my focus to the things that bring me joy has been an essential part of my healing journey.