If you are working to manage your autoimmune condition, you may have been told to keep a positive attitude.
It’s common to hear “just think positively,” “focus on the good,” “don’t dwell on the negative,” and so forth. But the reality is that, even though life is wonderful, it can still be difficult. Yes, it IS important to keep moving and take delight in life’s joys, but it is also healthy to take time to grieve life’s woes.
We cannot fully experience joy if we never fully process pain.
Toxic positivity is a demand for happiness when it’s simply not the appropriate time. In fact, telling someone who is suffering that she just needs to be positive is referred to as spiritual bypassing.
Spiritual bypassing uses false positivity to “solve” a difficult issue. Commonly done alongside spiritual bypassing, gaslighting is a manipulative tool used to make the target feel crazy for what he or she is experiencing—mentally or physically.
Many autoimmune patients have been gaslighted by doctors who insinuated their patients were making up symptoms or just seeking attention. If you are frustrated and angry about your health, it means you care about yourself and your ability to participate in life. Allowing yourself to process difficult thoughts and feelings can help you understand who you are and how to make good choices.
Positivity isn’t about feeling good all the time, but rather about practicing resilience.
Try these tricks to learn how to be a more resilient, positive thinker who can also handle the negative aspects of life:
- Start strategizing how to change something that may be a major stressor in your life, such as a job or a relationship.
- Check in on yourself throughout the day: are your thoughts negative or positive? Is there a lie or fear you are believing about yourself or your situation? What is a healthy truth you can practice thinking about to combat the lie?
- Laughing reduces the weight of life and lowers stress. Don’t forget to surround yourself with people and habits that can lift your spirit!
- Follow a healthy diet to lower inflammation.
- Exercise! Generating feel-good endorphins through exercise beats any addictive substance or habit.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Seek out and cultivate friendships with other people who also practice positivity.
- Pay attention to how you frame things. We all say things that can be reframed more positively. Instead of saying “I have to”, try saying, “I get to.”
- Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you care about. Make self respect and self care priorities in your thinking habits.
If you need help managing your autoimmune symptoms and want a team that is understanding, kind, and ready to fight for your health, contact our office today.