Are you empowering yourself?

When ill heath occurs in our lives, we often find it difficult to adapt to the new and many daunting challenges. We can fall into a sense of hopelessness, and may find it increasingly hard to draw ourselves back out. Some people find solace in discovering hope through religion ,while others cope with their distress through talking with family or friends. Whatever our coping strategy , ultimately we aim to feel empowered and re-discover the motivation necessary to help us get through one of the most difficult period of our lives. The positive impact of empowerment on mental and physical well being is vitally important to all chronic disease sufferers.

What things are you doing to empower yourself?

Have you any self-empowerment tools to share with fellow community members?

(With thanks to Maddy on my home site, Living With Erythromelalgia)

Great topic discussion Nel ! Thanks ! I do several things to empower myself:

1, I fire any doctor who doesn't listen to me and/or discuss my ideas and thoughts about MY treatment plan. As a result, I now have amazing doctors ! I feel empowered !

(I know that may not be as easy in other countries with different health plans. I take full advantage of my power to fire any doctor.)

2. I have control over my happiness, so I read articles and books on what makes people happy and it is fascinating what our brain and body does in response to positive, happy feelings. I recommend this book that includes neuroscience info: The Happiness Advantage

3. I smile as often as possible and put forth a positive attitude that has inspired my friends and family - I also have an auto immune disease - Psoriatic Arthritis that has been a continual menace causing a hip replacement in Nov 2014.

4. I'm always looking for ways that I, me, myself, can improve my health. I volunteer and help others. Many articles show that volunteering, helping others, makes you healthier. Here are 2 excerpts from articles (note that it helps people feel control over their health)

UnitedHealth Group commissioned a national survey of 3,351 adults and found that the overwhelming majority of participants reported feeling mentally and physically healthier after a volunteer experience.

  • 80 percent of them feel like they have control over their health
  • 76 percent of people who volunteered in the last twelve months said that volunteering has made them feel healthier
  • 94 percent of people who volunteered in the last twelve months said that volunteering improved their mood
  • 78 percent of them said that volunteering lowered their stress levels
  • 96 percent reported that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life
  • About a quarter of them reported that their volunteer work has helped them manage a chronic illness by keeping them active and taking their minds off of their own problems

Volunteering: The happiness effect

Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were, according to a study in Social Science and Medicine. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy—a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000–$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers.