One of the greatest challenges but also the most vital aspect of improving my health and happiness and recovering from ME/CFS was changing my thinking, my habits and my attitude to life.
However difficult it may be to do this, without doing so you will never make a positive change to your health and wellbeing or your lifestyle!
With the same old thinking, you get the same old results.
Now, before you get all disgruntled, thinking I’m just like the others, saying that ME/CFS is all in the mind, hear me out. I don’t for one minute believe that this condition is all in the mind, I know for sure it is very real because I suffered the effects of it for many years.
However, I do believe that, in addition to possible viruses, lifestyle choices and various events in my life, some of which were within my control and some that weren’t, my mindset played a big part in leading to me suffering with this condition.
Maybe you are suffering with this condition and are hoping and waiting for someone to find a cure and to give you a pill or potion that will heal you overnight – I’ve got bad news for you…it ain’t gonna happen!
Or you could be one of those sufferers who spends all of their precious little energy on campaigning for there to be more money spent on finding the reasons for this condition, and to come up with a cure, and for the condition to be ‘recognised’ in terms of disability benefit,
I’m not saying that shouldn’t be being done but that it shouldn’t be you who is wasting your valuable time and energy on this, when you could be using it to work towards your recovery.
The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new. – SOCRATES
So what I am saying is that working on your mindset will help you to change the way you think (believing that you can recover for a start), to realise that you need to take responsibility for your life in order to heal yourself, and enable you to do whatever it takes to do so.
After all, there is relatively no help from the medical profession and, in my opinion, treating the symptoms with pain relief and anti-depressants is the absolute worst thing for an already exhausted body!
Have you ever thought that if medical professionals did come up with a cure it would be in the form of prescribed medication because that’s all they know, and one thing that is well-documented is that prescribed medications usually come with many adverse side-effects! The only side effects of my system for recovery were a healthier gut, excess weight loss, and an end to food intolerances, recurring bouts of eczema, mood swings and depression!
I am proof that it is possible to recover from ME/CFS, and my unfaltering determination in doing whatever it took to improve my health was due to the powerful reason I had for wanting to get well again.
At the time of my diagnosis, my son was only 6 years old and his father, my husband, had passed away from cancer 4 years earlier and wasn’t there to help me care for our son, so I had to get well – there was no way I could stay in bed all day! I had no choice, which I suppose made it much easier to come to the conclusion that I had to find a way! I also wanted my son to have a happy, healthy, fun mum and I needed the energy to play the role of both mother and father to him.
Ironically, I was willing to do whatever it took to ensure my son’s wellbeing, over and above my own but one day something happened to make me realise that without looking after myself I would not be able to take care of him properly; this was the biggest incentive I needed and I just had to do whatever it took to improve my health!
Putting yourself first doesn’t mean you don’t care about others, it means you’re smart enough to know you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.
Your reason for working towards recovery of ME/CFS may be an entirely different one but whatever it is you need to be emotionally attached to it. When you think of your reason, do you feel strong emotions rising in you? Or maybe at this stage, you are struggling to find a reason powerful enough; don’t worry there is still a way!
Think of your brain as a computer and your thoughts and actions like software programs. No matter how much we want or wish for changes or enter the same instructions time and time again or however angry we get, it won’t upgrade our software or change anything for the better.
If you change nothing, nothing will change.
I appreciate that changing your mindset can seem like no easy task, especially when you are struggling to just get out of bed or do basic daily tasks, but it is achievable and can be done with baby steps, in just a few minutes each day, and it doesn’t involve physical activity. There are many, many good books and websites on the subject, however, you will almost certainly find that getting help from a professional person will help you move mountains.
Imagine being able to change your mental programs just as you change or upgrade your computer software, to get better results and positive changes in your performance and health.
I did just that! I had sessions in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or Tapping, and other similar techniques. I can hand on heart say this changed my life for the better and as well as being a very different person to the one I was prior to having these sessions, I was, and am still, able to change those habits or behaviours that aren’t conducive to a happy, healthy lifestyle. All these techniques enabled me to change my mindset, which now prevents me pushing myself to breaking point, and they gave me the ability to be able to stick with the new habits I needed to follow in order to have a healthier, happier life.
I was so impressed by the massive changes that these therapies made to my life that I later trained as a Master Practitioner in NLP, and a Hypnotherapist, as well as taking a course in EFT, in order to help others.
These days, I spend at least 1/2 an hour everyday, before getting out of bed in the morning, working on my mindset and it is this that enables me to remain healthy, to drive my business forward and also helps me to achieve my goals. Without the time spent on this everyday I know I would sometimes find it a challenge to be motivated, possibly burnout again and would probably waste too much time Candy Crushing or reading Facebook posts!
So, what type of person are you – the one who waits for a cure, or for a magic wand to be waved over their head, or the one who takes responsibility and action?