I’ve written a couple of articles now about a patient of mine, Mrs R, and her story of recovery; in particular, her mindset around her recovery. Today I am happy to post another piece of her writing. It focusses on gratitude. More and more I am realizing that gratitude is the key to happiness. If we are grateful, no matter what the circumstances might be, it puts us in a place of contentment, openness and receptivity. I hope that this patient’s story of gratitude touches you and helps you to see the beauty and blessings in your own life.
Let me get one thing out there first and foremost, I believe that life is based on the decisions we make. I could very easily be upset with God/Buddha/The Universe (whatever term you use). Why would they let this happen? The answer is simple. They didn’t let this happen. They have been sending me signals the entire time and I have been ignoring them. In fact, they have sent so many signals sent that my body is now in dis-ease. If that’s not bad enough, I continued to ignore the signals until life became completely unbearable. My body was to the point of physically shutting down. After the last time I was discharged from a stay in the hospital, I became unintentionally grateful. I had been stuck inside for so long, that just getting into the car to go home was a moment of pure joy. I felt free. Granted I was still very sick, but there was a glimmer finally of ‘there is more to life than this.’ I became grateful for everything. I started off simply being grateful for being outside of the hospital, then it was walking into my house, seeing my family and dogs, laying in my own bed, and it just kept going. When moments of illness would show, I would encourage myself to take things one second/minute/moment at a time. Instead of being IN the pain, I was finding a way to make it positive and look forward to it being over. I was changing my mindset without even knowing it. My heart was filling with love and true gratitude for life. I began to incorporate things to help me stay on this new glorious path. Anything that would bring me the slightest amount of joy, I was willing to give it a try. Some things stuck with me and I continue to do them, and others well it was fun trying but not for me. This is all customizable to what works for you, what brings you joy.
Things that have helped me progress:
Changing all social media to only display happy pages with positive uplifting advice. Deleting people who only post negative, and adding positive sites that post daily nuggets of wisdom
Listening to Podcasts. Some of the podcasts I listen to are: The Quote of the Day Show 8-10 mins, Optimal Living Daily 8-10 mins, Happier with Gretchen Rubin 25-35 mins, Tony Robbins 1 hour, and the Medical Medium 50-60 mins.
Playing with my dogs. Just petting an animal can lower your stress levels and blood pressure. Plus, its pure love coming from that animal to you.
Reading. A great way to escape and sharpen your imagination skills. Take yourself to another world! Give your mind a break from the daily life. Who knows, you might even learn a new skill.
Painting. Even if you don’t think you’re an artist, I recommend trying. Have an open mind. It can be very relaxing.
Crocheting. You can pretty much take this anywhere and do anytime. It helps keep the focus in the present moment.
Meditation. I highly recommend for everybody. Sick or not, just five minutes a day. Sit in a quite space for 5 minutes. Concentrate on breathing. Let whatever thoughts come, but realize they are just thoughts and try and return your concentration back to your breathing. Positive and health in, negative illness out. Start with just a few minutes and work your way up.
Prayer. Pray to whomever you need too. It’s your time with your creator. Say what you need to say, but always make sure you are grateful for being here.
Affirmations. I have these placed around my home in places that I see often; bathroom mirror, on the fridge, etc… All you have to do is read them. It may not seem like much is happening, but you are rewiring your thoughts. It does take time.
Taking detoxing bubble baths. This is one of my favorites. A nice hot bubble bath with Epsom salt, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda added. This will detox and help relax your body. Make sure you drink extra water after.
Fly Lady. This is a website that I was introduced to when I was having a hard time keeping up on my household chores. I love a clean organized home and that’s just what this site does. It teaches you how to manage everything from cleaning to meal prep to making time for yourself. It’s an easy site to navigate. FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself.
If you want to go back read my other post about Mrs. R, Recovery From Lyme: A Patient’s Story, click here.
To reread my post on What Does Recovery From Lyme Disease Look Like? click here.