In life, we are able to list different ways situations are daunting, often feeling insurmountable. There are no courses discussing such a topic during early education or even in University, unless taking a Behavioural Psychology course. Even then, the course is more general than specific for one individual. How does one learn to advocate for oneself no matter what the situation confronting us.? Advocating for a solution, a reduction in the the situational demands, coping with shocking news, recovering from a loss, illness or changes in life that were perhaps unexpected, are a huge task for anyone.
There are many resources available for the public and yet often through a lack of awareness, pride, independence or even location, it means those helpful opportunities cannot, or are not, accessed.
If though example of someone receiving news of having a chronic illness is given in this essay, it may be possible to explore how that individual could become more pro-active about this unexpected news. Of course, there is literature covering the stages of ‘grief’ surrounding such news. This also is more general than specific for the person involved. What about their thoughts, behaviour and emotions, how do they resolve the changes, begin to comprehend gravity of this new situation which is so very personal and specific to them? Do they have a healthy approach combined with a solid mind-body connection to themselves in order to cope? Are there suggestions to self learning at such a time in one’s life?
In health care today, there is currently the concept of providing much education to patients, allowing them some choices in therapy, if possible, along with interest in the entire lifestyle of the person requiring care. That is optimum. Building on that premise, then breaking it down to segments, here is some methodology for maintaining a solid pro-active stance regarding such a situation.
Self education can be most helpful to an individual. They can learn at the level which is comfortable for them and which they comprehend. This alone can lead to greater acceptance if the person is dealing with a new chronic illness diagnosis. It can increase the ease of dealing with health care providers. It can add a stronger dynamic of acceptance in the new aspect of this person’s self image. If the self education increases over time, there can even be a sense of pride in ‘managing’ a chronic illness with more success in coping with a new lifestyle.
Sharing with others is vital in eliminating a sense of isolation. Humans being social animals, but also independent in our society, can create a conflict within which causes stress. Ideas such as joining a support group, going to any presentations or workshops or even a Society affiliated with a chronic disease can be very affirming. To share one’s own anecdotes of coping with others who truly do understand can be both stress reducing and lower a sense of isolation. Again, it is creating more harmony with the mind in conflict with a body that is not functioning as it always did.
Learning behavioural approaches can prove invaluable over time. Counseling with a certified therapist may be another opportunity to be more pro-active with oneself in making changes in attitudes or behaviours which may not have a beneficial result with the chronic illness. This can lead to improved sense of self while altering lifestyle to match up with any health or mobility limitations.
If various choices are available to achieve the best health possible, a sense of control over outcome with such a decision can be a very powerful result with a sense of harmony of mind-body as well. Concurrent with choices can be the ability to be flexible in considerations of choices. To appreciate the sense of choice means the individual is being flexible in decision making, which is not simple but relates back to the individual. Again, the sense of self is preserved.
To continue to seek options if there are alterations in health status can be an ongoing action of self education and self awareness. It can create a sense of hope, optimism and confidence.
We can all hope to have a sense of self with includes optimum health no matter the level of health of any individual. To be pro-active can indeed lead to such an attitude about any challenging situation. This can involve situations which many face during a lifetime. Those of the challenge of losses of any kind; with subsequent grief. Another would be those facing life threatening illness or a chronic illness diagnosis. Anyone traumatically injured may find their standard of health is temporarily or permanently affected. A diagnosis of a mental illness may create more challenges to have a pro-active approach, but with support, it is possible.
We all deserve to have self actualization and security within ourselves as a harmonious individual no matter what the challenge may be. The mind-body harmony can be our goal and aspiration.