Integrative Nutrition Blog

Insights on Autoimmune Health and Inflammatory Conditions

Tips to Support Your Autoimmune Healing Journey

Mar 27, 2024 | All

The autoimmune healing journey is never straightforward or easy. Just when you think you are on the up and up, things can always take a turn for the worse. It’s incredibly frustrating and also a very powerful experience to heal from something like this. Generally speaking, you learn a lot about yourself, your support system and overall life anytime you overcome something difficult. Today I’m giving you a few tips to help you along this journey.

Positivity is essential

Keeping a positive mindset is critical when you are dealing with a chronic illness. In fact, more positive experiences can actually lower inflammation. But believe me, it can be really hard to remain positive when you are going through a flare or feeling awful. In fact, it’s human nature to focus on the negative. 80% of our daily thoughts are negative. Therefore, switching to a more positive mindset takes practice. Here are some ways to help you be more positive:

Reflect on daily positive experiences

In the book “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor, he lays out a variety of ways to help your brain retrain itself to be more happy and positive. My favorite exercise out of this book is Three Good Things. At the end of each day, write down 3 good things that happened to you. At first, this might be incredibly challenging, because our brains don’t work like that. However, the more you do this, the easier it gets. We do this as a family at the dinner table, and I honestly love to hear the good things that happen in my kids lives every day.

Smile more

Yes, smiling does make you happy. When you are feeling down or particularly negative, think of something that makes you smile. Better yet, watch a youtube or other social media video that makes you laugh. I love animal videos, especially anything with dogs.

Practice reframing

When life gets you down, try reframing those experiences to a more positive one. For instance, when i’m feeling a flare coming on, I know that it’s time for me to slow down and rest. Instead of focusing on what I won’t be able to do, I reframe and look forward to the extra time I’ll get to sleep in, or relax with a juicy novel. I swear it makes me feel better much faster.

Look for Support

One of the most underrated part of living with an autoimmune disease is the support piece. Many of us live with this silent disease and hide it from our networks. For a long time I didn’t tell anyone that I had rheumatoid arthritis. And I felt this sense of relief and almost like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders once I started talking about it. Additionally, once I realized how much I needed additional support, I looked for more options like online support groups.

Besides having fellow autoimmune warriors for support, tap into your personal support network. Talk to your close family and friends about what you are going through. Granted, many may not understand, but I can bet a few people will get it. Those are the people who you can look to when you are not feeling great and can help watch your kids, or help with meals. 

Do your research to feel empowered

Each autoimmune disease is different. And in most cases, your doctor probably didn’t have enough time to explain to you what it actually is and what your options are. Please do yourself a favor and do the research on your disease. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the more empowered you will feel at each doctor and other visits.

Healing journeys are never linear

While we all want this to not be the case, healing journeys are rarely linear. This means that times of improvements may be followed by periods of not feeling so great. This is common and expected, so don’t get too down when you have a setback. Setbacks are normal and bound to happen. To help you get through these dips, stay positive and lean on your support networks.

Listen to Yourself

Lastly, always listen to yourself. The person who knows yourself best is you. When you feel like there’s too much on your plate, or you are feeling extra tired, or your sleep is off, it’s time to dial it back a bit and rest. You are the hardest person to listen to. However, if you actually listen to yourself, you will be much better off in the long run.

If you need more assistance on this journey, please contact me for more support. In addition, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube for more tips and tricks to live with and heal your autoimmune disease symptoms.

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