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Trusting Your Body During Times of Chronic Illness

Listen to your body - Treat your precious body with lots of care. Listen, connect, and trust.

Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha

When we are stressed out, in pain, grieving or have a chronic illness it can be really hard to manage and to control. We want to get back to where we were before we became ill, to reverse the clock and we try our damn hardest to get back there. This can mean ignoring our illness and hoping it will go away, fighting against it, spending all of our time and energy in quick fixes and instant cures, or pushing our bodies even harder in order to simply “soldier on”.

I know, I have been there, done it and worn that T shirt. I was diagnosed with ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) in 2009. I have spent most of these last 10 years fighting it, trying to beat it, pushing myself when deep down I know I am too tired and spending that little bit of energy I have just to get that small moment of pleasure before crashing and relapsing for weeks and even months.

There comes a point on the journey of illness where we say to ourselves “something has to change” and for me this was learning to listen to my body and learning to trust it and making the decision not to go against it once I realised it knew better than I did. Yes, this can be easier said than done and believe me it takes practice but once you start to see your body as your guide and make friends with it, trust and a sense of peace with your body feels so much better than fighting it.

Here are some of the things I have learnt along my own journey.

Listen to your body. I mean really listen with your heart. If you are faced with making a choice, feel your body and ask it what it wants to do. Does your body expand or contract at the thought? Does it feel at ease or tense up? Learn to be guided by your body an
d not fall into the trap of going along with your mind and your ego. When I look back at times when I had to make decisions, I see my body was giving me the answers, guiding me. Practice being still, breathing, meditating and feeling instead of thinking and from this place take note of what your body is trying to tell you.

Use all five of your senses to connect to your body. Move your body by taking a walk, getting out into nature, or going swimming. Your body is a magical place, it breathes, pumps blood around your body, it stretches and grows, it fights off illness to keep you well, it creates babies and it keeps you alive! Celebrate your body, her beauty, her strength and her power. Treat it with gentleness and compassion. Learn to be positive about your body, you are a beautiful being, inside and out!

Trust that everything will work out for the best. Trust that you'll survive. Trust in your body and that it knows what's it's doing. Trust in other people. Trust in the world. Trust that all is well.

Give yourself time to heal. Healing has its own timeline and can’t be rushed. If you become impatient and stressed out you are going to add more stress to your boy and mind which will only slow down the healing process. The fastest way to reverse this is through self-love and self-care.

Believe in your ability to heal. Allow your body to repair and to recuperate and support your body in doing so.