Today I want to tell you how to feel better instantly. It’s something I learned from my ex-wife.
Here’s how the lesson came about: When we were married, we had more than our share of heated arguments, and sometimes when we in the middle of one, the phone would ring. My ex would answer it in a completely normal voice. And if it was a friend of hers, she would have a conversation that often included smiles and laughter. There would not be even the slightest indication that up until the moment when she picked up the phone, she was furious or upset.
A friend of mine recently shared with me another example about feeling better, although the change didn’t happen as quickly as it did for my ex-wife.
What happened was that her ex-husband had told her that he was going to have her declared an unfit mother and take her young daughter away from her. As you can imagine, she became very upset, anxious, and afraid. She could have stayed that way, but she consciously made the decision to change. What she did instead of dwell on those feelings was to ask her five-year-old daughter what she wanted to be for Halloween. Her daughter responded that she wanted to be a waterfall. My friend used her ingenuity, creativity, and sewing skills to create a wonderful waterfall costume, and experienced a lot of happiness and aliveness as she did. And her ex-husband’s threat to have her declared an unfit mother went nowhere.
In case you’re wondering what these stories have to do with people with chronic illnesses, the answer is a lot. That’s because dealing with the feelings and emotions that come with having a chronic illness can be as hard as or even harder than dealing with the illness itself. And as the examples I’ve described have shown, there are things we can do so that negative feelings get replaced by positive ones – sometimes in an instant.
So I strongly suggest that when you’re struggling and feeling upset, anxious, or overwhelmed, that you not dwell on those feelings. Instead, have a conversation with a friend or find something to do that you enjoy and find engrossing.
If you would like more ideas for how to live well when you have a chronic illness, I invite you to get my free report: Do You Hate Having a Chronic Illness? You Can Live Well Anyway – Here’s How!