If like me you’re the eternal sceptic you will have heard of the term mindful or mindfulness being thrown around and scoffed. I personally felt this was a nonsense hippy trend. Although since being diagnosed with a chronic illness I have decided to be less dismissive and to stop writing things of before I have researched them. This is because I was once a massive ableist and often wrote people off as workshy. However, that’s another story for another time.
Mindfulness is a therapeutic practice. You focus on the present moment acknowledging your feelings, surroundings, bodily sensations without judging them to be good or bad. With Buddhist roots, the practice is often based on meditation. However, I have found that you can incorporate this into your daily life easily.
Chronic Illness and Mindfulness
So you might be thinking, “Ok, so how does this relate to being chronically ill?”. I found I was often planning ahead to what I would do when I felt better, or when I lost weight or when I stopped my medication, the list goes on. Taking up the practice mindfulness made consider what I could do now.
When you are chronically ill it can be overwhelming. Navigating daily life in constant pain and taking your illness into consideration at every moment is exhausting. Being mindful allows me to focus on the positives and not be hard on myself for feeling down.
How do I practice Mindfulness?
Personally, I have incorporated it into my everyday thought process. When I wake up I take time to assess how my body feels. If I’m feeling rough and can’t go out, I look at the positive – I can catch on my favourite TV shows and stay in my PJs all day without guilt. I also consider all the positives I have in my life, I am able to work full-time and travel. I am happy and in tune with myself. I know my limitations, my quirks and I am proud of my character. Daily affirmations are also useful.
I hope I have given you some insight into the practice of mindfulness. Let me know what you do to stay positive and until next time Stars!