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 mentioned setting aside time everyday for a favorite activity. My schedule is full and it would stress me out to have to make time for that every day. Please say a little more about its importance.

ANSWER:   First of all, you don’t have to do anything. Even the most fun activities will be stressful and unhealthy if we do them because we think we have to. Stress is a killer. Only do things because you choose to. For example, because of some cardiac dysrhythmias, it’s important for me to practice slow diaphragmatic breathing throughout the day. I also have a few other practices that are important for me to do throughout the day in order to maintain my health. I often find myself thinking I have to do them. That is unhealthy and creates unnecessary stress. I continually remind myself that because I value my health, I want to practice those things.

Scheduling a favorite activity into every day can be more fun than scheduling in special breathing practices. This could be something as small as spending a few minutes working in your garden or enjoying any hobby. Even if your work is very rewarding, it is very healthy to reward yourself with something very different from your daily routine.

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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