In my DEEPEN approach I speak to 6 Key Principles that have had a profound impact on my ongoing recovery with Crohn’s Disease. Today, in Part 1 of this 6 part series I talk about Positivity and why I think it’s the number one component to greater health and a more meaningful life. HERE WE GO!
“Let us remember, so far as we can, that every unpleasant thought is a bad thing literally put in the body.” – Prentice Mulford
When I was first diagnosed, I had zero clue what Crohn’s Disease meant for my life. What I did know for certain was that I was angry, scared and sad. I felt a serious betrayal from my body and it felt like it was no longer mine. Crohns had snuck up out of nowhere and was about to take up some serious rental space in my life…for good. In those initial years, Crohn’s Disease occupied every single corner of my mind and determined every single aspect of my existence. I couldn’t see it then, but it did so because I allowed it.
Looking back I can’t be angry at myself for this. I mean I was 17 and I didn’t have the life experiences or the emotional skill set that I have now to be able to process this diagnosis in a more healthy and meaningful way. In those early years I spent most of my time pretending it didn’t exist. Denial was my best friend. The funny thing about denial is that it’s typically a coping mechanism put in place to protect us from something that’s just too overwhelming to experience. The fact of the matter was that denial was doing anything but protecting me; it was unfortunately doing the exact opposite (as it tends to do).
My denial was rooted in fear, and fear is rooted in negative energy. My body wasn’t being tricked into being healthier by denial, and in fact; the energy I was putting into resisting my disease was making me more and more ill. My denial (and at times what could be described as more like a rebellion) had me drinking, smoking, eating shitty food, and spending time with shitty people. I stayed up late, didn’t take my medication, and missed doctors’ appointments …all because I was going to prove to myself that this disease did not have a place in my life. I COULD NOT ACCEPT CROHN’S DISEASE, and in that nonacceptance I lost out on the opportunity to experience happiness and health. I was putting so much energy into pretending that Crohn’s Disease didn’t have power over my life that it ended up having more power over my life than I could ever imagine or want.
Energy is much smarter than we give it credit for. The Law of Attraction centers around the fundamental principle of using positive or negative energy to create that particular energies corresponding life experience…in essence, like energy attracts like energy. This Law focuses on the foundations of our energy, not the human concepts we frame it in. So, although I was putting energy into “resisting” Crohn’s Disease, the universe didn’t understand that by resisting it I wanted it gone, it only understood that I was placing my energy into Crohn’s Disease. My energy was vibrating from a place of fear, anger and sadness; and so in return I was experiencing more fear, more anger, and more sadness…in return my Crohn’s Disease was getting worse.
WHAT CAN YOU DO RIGHT NOW TO REDSICOVER HEALTH THROUGH POSITIVITY?
So maybe you too are stuck in denial. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you have more bad days than good days, or maybe you’re just looking for strategies to feel better and live a happier and healthier life. Regardless of your circumstances, here are 6 techniques that incorporate positivity and shift your life experiences to deepen your relationship with health. The best part? They’re free!
- Believe – You have to believe that you can and will get better. If you don’t, you’re done. For example, if I start taking a supplement/herb/medication that has shown positive effects on the symptoms of IBD and I doubt it will even work before I start taking it, why bother? It’s not going to work. Negative attracts negative. So if I’m investing time and money into my wellness, but in the back of my mind I don’t believe I can make a positive difference in my health or control aspects of my disease then I’ve already lost the battle before I’ve even begun. You have to believe in what you’re doing and you have to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe; if you’re not looking at health from a place of positivity, you literally have no foundation to even start from.
- Practice Gratitude – Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency. People who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. Write down three things you feel grateful for each day and each night. Start a gratitude journal or a gratitude jar. Get social about your gratitude. Send letters, spread love on social media. There is real healing power in feeling and expressing gratitude.
- Develop Good Self-Care Practices – Positive energy doesn’t just come from the mind, it comes from things, people, places, and experiences. The food we eat, the space we live in, the things we watch, the information we read…all of these things contribute to our sense of wellness. A shitty diet is negative energy, shitty relationships are negative energy, a cluttered home or desk is contributing to your negative energy. Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, clean up your home or your space at work. All of these factors contribute to whether you experience positive energy in lack or abundance.
- Focus on the Good in Yourself and in Others – Sometimes we’re so caught up on focusing on the bad stuff that we can forget that we’re actually the source of our own negativity. The complaining, the worrying, the judging. Yes, IBD is painful, yes it has a legitimate reason to cause anxiety, and yes sometimes we can get caught up in comparing our lives to someone else’s. These actions are only helping you to stay caught in a cycle of negativity which will keep you in a place to experience greater disease. Instead, focus on the positive, and create a plan of action to get you to the space in your life that you want to be. I always say that health is a destination and we’re the creators of the path to get there. Focus on the steps you can take right now to walk down that path to wellness.
- Change the Negative Tape You’re Playing in Your Head – Have you ever made a real effort to spend the day listening to how you speak to yourself? Often we’re so busy living in the past or the future that the thoughts that go on in our head in the present moments are not being paid much attention. We all have them; those thoughts that go a little like:
- I’ll fail
- I’m not good looking enough
- I’m not smart enough
- I’m too big
- I’m too small
- I’m stupid
- I can’t do that
- I don’t know what I’m talking about
They say it takes three positive comments to cancel the effects to your self-esteem from the one negative comment. Positive thoughts cultivate positive feelings, and positive feelings will cultivate positive experiences. Start replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones and watch how your life (and health) starts to change for the better.
- Breathe – Little secret. When I was learning to meditate (and I still am), I was told to choose a word that would bring me back to focus, that would bring me back to calm. My meditation word is “breathe”. I chose this word because it’s so simple and so often forgotten. Sometimes we just need to sit back, let it go, and realize that we can’t and don’t have to fix it all today. Sometimes we simply just need to breathe. When I’m telling myself to breathe, what I’m really telling myself is “Janine, it’s all going to be okay”….and guess what? When I tell myself it’s all going to be okay, I really actually believe it’s all going to be okay 🙂
“Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.” – Joel Osteen