5 Affirmations for HS Warriors
Let’s face it, living with chronic illness can be both mentally and physically taxing for even the most grounded person. Some days, being mindful of my thoughts and remaining present in life can seem like a Mount Everest that I struggle to climb. In all honesty, there’s no easy fix for this, but I utilize a daily mindfulness practice using positive affirmations to alter my outlook on life with Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
What’s all this about mindfulness and affirmations?
The idea of affirmations largely stems from the Self-Affirmation theory proposed by Claude Steel. In short, this theory presents the idea that people seek to maintain self-integrity in the face of threat through self-affirmations. What does all of this mean? You can use self-affirmations in the face of threats, or challenging times, to reflect on your inherent values and remain grounded in who you are as a person.
I say these five affirmations for a pick me up while in the midst of battling chronic pain:
I choose to find peace in the midst of pain.
This is so much easier said than done. However, it’s crucial that I change the narrative in the face of debilitating pain. My version of finding peace wears many different faces but often entails listening to pleasing music and Netflix binge days. If you’re having a hard time finding peace, I would suggest that you make a list of attainable activities that bring you happiness and make it a habit to practice these things. Even simply sitting outside in the sun can be a no-cost peaceful option that I find makes my pain a little more manageable. If you can’t physically get outside, try to open a window and let a natural breeze in or listen to nature sounds as the next best thing.
I forgive myself for days when I was mad at my body for what it could not do.
We have all been there. Being frustrated with your body is inevitable when dealing with chronic illness. It can be hard to watch others do the activities you love so much or to look back at past photos reminiscing on good times when your body was not experiencing a flare. Often times, the general disdain for your body and its’ changes happen subconsciously. This is why it is so important for me to make a conscious effort to acknowledge my feelings about my body and confront them head-on. It is perfectly okay to have an internal screaming match with yourself as you grow to learn and accept your new body. However, it is necessary that you learn to forgive yourself. Every day is a new opportunity for growth. By changing my mindset, I have learned to work with my body and not against it.
I am holding space to engage in things that promote my individual happiness.
Sometimes we can surprise ourselves with what we can do. I’m absolutely not promoting superhero syndrome here, but do not limit yourself if it is not necessary. Wallowing in your pain can eventually take a serious emotional toll. Leave space for time with family and friends. Leave space for the things that made you happy before your diagnosis and make you happy on a low pain day.
I release feelings of being responsible for how others view my disease.
This is a feeling that I am certain is commonplace in the chronic illness community. It is likely that at some point in your journey you felt that you had to explain what HS is or how you personally handle the disease. You have also probably experienced someone who does not have the disease telling you what you should be doing. I have to tell myself that what someone else chooses to understand and believe about my disease is not my responsibility. Let it go and let them figure it out in their own time.
I am a masterpiece and my battle wounds create a beautiful texture on the canvas that is me.
This is my favorite affirmation, especially as new scars pop up on my body often. Be it big, or small, they are there giving me a bright hello every day. My scars are now apart of me and I have to do my best to appreciate them as extensions of my body. I may not love them every day, but acceptance can speak volumes in learning to cope with a disease. I am a masterpiece and my scars only add to my beauty.
How has your HS affected your relationships with friends and family?