Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.


Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

This 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 have written quite a bit about the healing power of gratitude and appreciation. Yet, you have also warned against Pollyanna-like thinking. Please explain what seems to me like two contradictory recommendations.

ANSWER:  With things beyond our power to change, it is healthiest to consciously focus on and actively look for things that are going well. Look for beauty in your environment. Actively look for things that you value and for which you can have gratitude. This is different from Pollyanna-like thinking. In other words, whenever something is within our control to alter, I recommend doing whatever you can to improve the situation.

Have acceptance and appreciation for what you can’t change, but do not accept an undesirable condition that may possibly be at least somewhat within your control.  Never give up until it is very clear that the situation is absolutely beyond your control.

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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