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5 Ways to Banish Fear in the Face of Chronic Illness

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Fear is future-oriented. It’s imagining what could go wrong but hasn’t yet. It’s hiding under self-judgement, comparison and envy. Fear holds you in a pattern of self-doubt.

Being chronically ill has the ability to severely damage our lifestyles. This fear is a huge part of what makes chronic conditions so difficult. There’s the fear of not healing, fear of loss of control, fear of making a wrong decision about medical care, fear of never being able to have the life we’d choose if we were healthy.

A big fear of mine is stepping out of my comfort zone. A zone that, ironically, isn’t even that comfortable for me.

It’s not reasonable to ask us to banish fear completely and then bask in a glow of wellness, either. Human bodies and minds don’t work that way. So, here is my advice for how to banish fear in the face of chronic illness:

1. Do one thing differently.

Eat something new, take a new route to somewhere you always go, call someone you rarely call. Doing something different is a small step in the right direction to getting rid of fear.

2. Make a decision.

What have you been thinking about for weeks? Do it! Make your decision now!  Don’t change your mind for seven days. During this week, support your own decision by going with it, not stressing about it, and following through with it.  After the seven days are up, change your choice if you feel you need to.

3. Exercise the best you can.

So good for stress and overall well-being.

4. Write out your goals and dreams.

Don’t focus on the fear of not being able to achieve them. Think about your dreams. Put yourself in a healthy body in your mind and envision it.

5. Do something that scares you.

Even when facing every single day is already scary enough, do it. Once you’ve done it, the fear is gone.

We can’t let fear rattle us and be in charge of our faults and actions. Give these ideas a try and fear less. Let me know how it goes!

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Originally published: February 20, 2016
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