Integrative Nutrition Blog

6 Ways to Proactively Treat Your Health Condition

April 27, 2016

Image via Shutterstock

Despite the technical advances of modern medicine and the abundance of wellness information publicly available, it can be a major challenge to live with – or overcome – a health condition.

To start, there’s the shock of the initial diagnosis, followed by despair, overwhelm, and frustration in trying to find the right resources. Do you need a specialist? Should you change your diet? Does your insurance cover that procedure? The mountain of questions goes on and on, and over time it may feel easier to settle on management of symptoms rather than getting to the root cause.

This doesn’t have to be the case, though!

By empowering yourself to take back control of your health and becoming more proactive, rather than reactive, you can begin to thrive again.

Here are 5 ways to be more proactive in treating your health condition:

1. Accept it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Our bodies are constantly sending us messages that reflect the state of our health. It’s important to accept these signs as blessings and move ahead with confidence instead of resisting them. Our bodies can provide great insights and learning opportunities in ways that might just foster personal growth in unexpected and beneficial ways. Embrace your full self and be open to exploring ways to improve your health by actively listening to your body.

 2. Ask questions and understand.
Not knowing what’s really going on in your body, or how to help yourself feel better, is the hardest part about being diagnosed with a chronic health condition. Be an advocate for your own health and take daily steps to learn and understand more about your condition. There are so many health resources available and it’s crucial to discover what works for you. Remember, you don’t have to implement drastic changes overnight and some things might require professional guidance, but by exploring and implementing minor lifestyle and behavioral changes (diet, exercise, stress reduction, etc.) you will feel much more motivated to take action.

3. Surround yourself with support.
Regardless of the state of your health, you are not alone in your journey! Enlist a team of people who you trust and who genuinely care about your well-being, such as your spouse, doctor(s), parents, close friends, and of course your Health Coach. Your team can also include a personal or virtual community of people who might be struggling with the same condition, so you can all encourage and support each other. Being surrounded by people who support and motivate you is crucial to your healing process.

 4. Create a personal wellness plan. 
The process of gathering information about diet, self-care, medication, or treatments can be overwhelming, so lay it all out on paper by developing a personalized wellness plan. Include foods to eat more of to crowd out cravings, activities to alleviate your symptoms, doctors to consult with, alternative health therapies to try, etc. Use a journal to track your progress and assess what works and what doesn’t, because your personal path to wellness might differ from others.  

 5. Be patient.
Chances are, your condition didn’t come about overnight, and it’s not going to heal overnight either. It may take months, years, or even decades before you really feel like yourself again, so be patient and just take it one day at a time. Being at peace will also reduce stress, which will only help your body heal quicker.

 6. Stay positive.
While the medical community is still debating the mind-body connection behind the placebo effect, we do know that stress and negative thinking are only going to slow down the healing process. So focus on the upside, the silver lining, the good things you have in life. Positivity may not “cure” you, but it will sure help in making this journey of life more enjoyable!

How are you proactive in treating your health condition? Share in the comments below. 

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