Breathing Through the Bad

As someone living with both eczema and Crohn’s disease, which seem to intersect pretty often, I know what it’s like to have a bad day or two. I was diagnosed with IBD over 12 years ago. I started experiencing symptoms many years before that. I was probably diagnosed with eczema at birth. Living with conditions with no cure is no easy task, no matter what the severity of the condition is.

Ups and downs

Life throws “healthy” people through a loop, so how could we possibly be any different? There are days when I get angry thinking about all that’s on my plate. Thinking about how on top of normal stressors we all have as adults, I have to manage multiple conditions, multiple medications, doctor appointments, and the bills that come with that. You have the right to let it get you down.

Finding control through mindset?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing some reading on the impact of mindset and just how much it matters. I’ve watched and read resources from just about everyone — everyday people like me to researchers and doctors from the best schools. Everyone says the same thing: Mindset matters.

Of course, I’m not naive enough to believe that we 100% have full control of everything all of the time or that all of life’s problems can be fixed with a simple outlook change. I realize it’s harder than it seems, but I’ve also challenged myself to try.

How does mindset heal?

Some studies I’ve seen have given people two different videos, one from a positive perspective, one negative. Then followed the people who watched each video. Watching how different the outcomes were. Spoiler alert: They were vastly different.

My point is, I’ve been trying to work on my mindset and the way I view and approach life. I’ve been trying to be more conscious, present, and in the moment despite the conditions I live with. A huge technique that’s helped me with this is simply breathing.

Assessing my mindset with questions

I don’t have any special tips or tricks. I’m no meditation guru or yoga junkie - just a simple girl teaching herself to do more to be better. How I start is simple, when I find myself following into one of those downward spirals. You know the ones. I ask myself, “Does this truly matter to me? Will it matter a year from now? Why does this impact my mood so much?” I internally ask these questions and breathe, occasionally closing my eyes while answering. I try to allow myself the freedom to feel those emotions while reminding myself that emotions are only temporary, so there is no point in letting them control me or my day.

I find it most beneficial to start in the morning. Ask yourself questions that will help you see the good in your current situation. Despite illness, despite the stress, there is always good. It’s up to us to find it, continuously. And allow it to guide us through the bad. It’s up to us to change our minds.

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