Saturday, October 29, 2016

Physical illness and Mental Health


I have been sick for over a week now with flu like symptoms and It has been physically exhausting. Normally when I contract a virus I am quite fortunate that my body fights them off quickly, but this time it seems to want to hang on.  I am not looking for sympathy, I am using this to make a point about perception and mental health.

My physical self is obviously trying to tell me something, and how I choose to view it will make all the difference to my mental well being.  My perception of my physical illness will help me to determine the state of my own mental health.  Being sick in bed gives you a lot of time to think (and watch TV of course), and it gives me the opportunity to view my own state of mind.

 Although I have spent the week at a very low point, it has not dragged my mood or emotions down with it yet.  This is my first indication that my mental health is at least somewhat resilient right now.
I try to focus on the things I am thinking about naturally and whether they are positive or negative in nature.  I am still creating positive perceptions for the most part so I have passed the next stage.

I then decided this morning to take a look within and ask myself how I feel about the illness itself.  Certainly the first thought that comes to mind is that 'it sucks'.  Once I get past my immediate response I look closer at what it has done to my thinking processes.  I begin to think about my ongoing illnesses on top of this new one and gauge the difference in how I am being affected.  Believe it or not I came out with some positive views.

Because I spend each day with physical issues, I have learned to strengthen my own mental health so that I can remain positive in thinking while not 'feeling' the same. The new illness has done something helpful for me but thank goodness this one is only temporary.  Often we take for granted what we do have and focus on what we don't have.  The new temporary illness reminds me that if I can still function in this state, then I should be thankful that I don't have live like this all of time, and that I should appreciate my normal state.

There are millions of people who live in a worse state of health than I do all over the world.  I have been reminded that I will be thankful for being able to get up each day and function at a somewhat 'normal' rate because it could be so much worse.   Being sick this week has reminded me to be thankful for what I have and to not take small things for granted.

Perception is everything when it comes to looking at ourselves (which is my next article), and how we 'choose' to view our situation and problems has everything to do with our outlook on life.  Our feelings will persist always, but taking control of whether to create positive or negative views about ourselves has everything to do with our mental health, and whether we can begin to choose happiness over sadness.

I hope you have a nice weekend with many peaceful moments!\
Be well

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