By: David Raymond Gay
Do you ever talk to yourself? I know I do. I talk to myself all the time, and most of the time I am beating myself up. I believe one of the biggest issues we face with chronic illness is letting ourselves fall into a cycle of self-doubt. We begin to form a wide variety of bad habits that cause us to lose hope.
I have been polling chronic illness fighters to understand what habits they have that need to change. I believe that the first step in self improvement is the realization that there are some habits that just need to go away. I will be the first to admit, I was overwhelmed with the feedback that I received. Hundreds of people responded with their top bad habits.
My hope is that you will take this list and start to reflect on your own bad habits. I tried to summarize the feedback I received into a total of 35 tips you will find below. What habits do you need to change?
- Believing your thoughts are the truth.
- Feeling guilt.
- Blaming yourself for your illness.
- Worrying about what other people think.
- Explaining yourself to others.
- Staying in a non-supportive relationship.
- Not laughing for fear that people may mistake your smile for feeling healthy.
- Worrying about tomorrow.
- Focusing on what you can’t do — concentrate on how you can do it!
- Comparing yourself to others with chronic illness.
- Selling your capabilities short due to fear.
- Not living your life when it’s the only one we get.
- Stressing out about limits.
- Pushing past your limits just because other people say you can’t.
- Calling yourself negative names when frustrated.
- Listening to other people who have never been where you are.
- Hanging around negative and toxic people.
- Letting your illness define who you are. Only you can define yourself.
- Spending to much time on social media.
- Overthinking the “what if’s” in life. Chronic illness affects each of us differently.
- Comparing yourself to your former self.
- Overdoing it when you feel good.
- Saying sorry for every little thing you can not control.
- Having self doubts.
- Expecting your family and friends to understand what you’re feeling.
- Trying to accommodate other people’s needs.
- Denying or hiding your limitations.
- Thinking your disease is a weakness of character. You’re not lazy, you have a chronic illness.
- The all-or-nothing mentality — think progress.
- Asking “Am I doing everything I can to help myself?” No one can do everything.
- Being a perfectionist and feeling like if you didn’t get something done you failed.
- Worrying about the future. Our thoughts can bring so much fear. Focus on Now.