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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

larryB&W@300This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is today’s question:

QUESTION: You speak a lot about the importance for health in taking charge of your life and never doing anything you don’t want to do. It seems to me that your statement fails to take into account that some of us have to work, have to take care of certain family obligations, and have to do a number of things in life that we don’t really want to do.

ANSWER: Thank you for your comment. Every time I do a presentation to a group, people question me on that statement. Here’s what I mean by that intentionally provocative statement. There are things we do every day that are not fun or enjoyable, but we do them out of obligation or because of the negative consequences. My suggestion is to question your reasons for everything you do. Questioning your reasons allows you to see that you are in fact choosing everything you do.

In fact, I advocate a particular mindfulness practice that consists of prefacing every behavior, throughout the day with: “I’m choosing to…” For example, instead of “I have to” go to the dentist, say “I’m choosing” to go because I want to keep my teeth. Or, I’m “choosing” to go to work because I want to be able to continue to contribute to the financial support of my family.

 

Taking on that practice will allow you to live with mastery and wellbeing.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column.

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