There are many steps one can take to live a joyful life where you feel positive about every moment and happy where you are. However, not everyone has the luxury of feeling great 24/7, and many people can even struggle to feel good about themselves and the world. This issue is further exacerbated when they have an illness. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, or chronic pain, it feels like the world was not designed for you, making it tough to feel confident and positive.
But don’t let your illness hold you back. While this is easier said than done, you must explore ways to feel good about yourself regardless of your illness or condition.
Find Something That Makes You Happy
It sounds obvious, but finding something–anything–that makes you happy can transform your attitude to life and vastly improve your self-esteem. Everyone needs a hobby to give themselves a break from the endless and tedious grind of working, cleaning, eating, and sleeping.
By exploring various hobbies, such as reading or knitting or whatever you find interesting, you can split up your days easily, take your mind off your illness and any pain, and find ways to fill those weird hours where you’re at a loss for what to do.
Find People Who Will Support and Love You
You can’t do it all by yourself, though. Since no one is an island, you need people to provide support and help you if and when life gets a little too overwhelming for you to handle at that moment.
This doesn’t mean falling into a lifestyle where you are dependent on everyone for everything, but rather knowing that you have people around you to help out if needed, and you will do the same for them when they require a helping hand.
Try New Things
It’s too easy to fall into the same old routine, even if you have hobbies that you enjoy. You may not expose yourself as much as you could, and trying new things is a great way to boost your self-esteem and prove how capable you are.
You don’t need to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, but it could be worth putting yourself out there more than you would usually. There’s also no point in trying to go too big, so taking smaller steps to reach a goal can raise your confidence in whatever you do.
Rework Your Attitude
You’ve probably heard to just get over it constantly throughout your life, and you know how little that helps. If anything, it’s counterproductive and completely misses the point of chronic illness or mental health struggles.
So how can you rework your attitude? Your inner voice has a lot of influence over you. If you indulge in self-deprecation, you may start believing the absurd claims you make about yourself. Instead of calling yourself a fool, look at things more positively and see how your self-confidence grows.
Take Steps To Improve On Yourself
Sometimes, you can’t improve your situation without outside help. This is usually a factor when you are suffering from PTSD or related illnesses and struggling alone can be dangerous for yourself and those around you.
You should explore your options to see what professional treatment services can do to help you manage your situation. A VA inpatient rehab provides specialized help, while other rehab programs could show you how to deal with addiction issues that can help you regain control of your life and well-being.
Record the Positive Things You’ve Done or Seen
The world can seem like an awful place. All you see when you scroll through social media or turn on the news is chaos, death, injustice and even all of these rolled into one. Things seem bleak, but there are still some positive things you can discover as long as you know where to look for them.
Recording these things can change your outlook on the world as you’ll see things aren’t all bad. Write down what you’ve seen or take a photograph of something cool to remind you that the world–and the people living here–are worth it.
Explore At-Home Treatments
Many people wait weeks and sometimes even months for a doctor’s appointment. If you suffer from chronic pain, you know that you cannot wait that long for treatment. So what can you do?
Rather than getting a prescription for medication that may or may not work, you can explore natural ways to relieve pain at home. These are approaches that have worked for generations and could be the answer you’ve been looking for to help you feel more comfortable and confident.
Get Out Of the House
If you can, it might benefit you to get out of the house, especially on a nice day when the sun is shining. Fresh air and exercise can help you feel better about yourself and the world around you. What’s more, spending too much time cooped up is hugely damaging to your mental health.
You don’t need to go far, so a simple stroll around the neighborhood for half an hour could be enough. If you’re feeling more ambitious, though, just start walking and see where it takes you.
Do Something Comforting
Everyone has those days when they feel down in the dumps and they can’t think of anything that might inspire them. On days like these, it’s best to do something you know you enjoy, something comforting that can help you recalibrate to make you feel better.
Think about the hobbies that allow you to switch your mind off and do them without exerting too much mental energy. Things like knitting and gardening are great ideas, and they can help you pass the time when you don’t know what else to do.
Speak to People Who Understand
Although you may have a stable support system of friends and family, they might not get what you’re going through the same way a dedicated support group will. You can find these support groups online and in person, allowing you to reach out and discuss your problems with people who understand in a way that you feel comfortable with.
Use Writing Therapy
Sometimes, it just helps to write. The practice of keeping a journal helps you work through your issues differently and can be hugely effective if you are struggling with mental health issues or even chronic pain problems.
This is because writing things down has a different effect than merely thinking about them. If you spend all day worrying about your future, writing down these worries makes them more concrete and lets you keep track of your train of thought to find solutions more easily.
Remember, Your Illness Does Not Define You
Suffering from mental illness or chronic pain (or both) can be hugely detrimental to your life, but only if you let these issues define you. Remember that you are not your condition. You are your own person who has goals and dreams. The condition is just part of you, but not the totality of who you are.
Adjusting your thought process to something like this can be liberating and even provide a new lease on life that boosts your confidence significantly.
Do Something That Helps Others
If your self-esteem is suffering, you may benefit from reaching out and helping others, even if you feel like you cannot help yourself. Not only will this introduce you to a variety of new and fascinating people, but it will also make you feel like you have a purpose.
Explore various volunteer options or local charities to see if they have an opening for you to help out. Many organizations always need an extra pair of hands, so give something back to help others and boost your self-confidence.
Share Your Experiences
Similarly, you can share your experiences with others to show them they are not alone. Check out some of the best mental health Instagram accounts to get an idea of what type of content you can create to share what you have gone through.
If you don’t want to set up a social media account, blogging or video content on YouTube are two other options for you to provide your unique perspective.
Don’t Let the Illness Win
Finally, it’s tempting to give in and just let the illness consume you, but that will not benefit anyone. Too many people use their illness to fall back on when they don’t want to do stuff, but doing this too much risks isolating you from those who care about you the most. As tough as things can get, you mustn’t let the illness win because you could also lose a piece of who you are.
Sometimes, it’s hard to put on a brave face and put yourself out there. But you’ll quickly discover this will help you feel better, even if you don’t think that’s possible. No one wants to deal with physical or mental illness, yet you can still feel good about yourself and show the world that you are much more than your condition. With enough practice, your self-confidence will radiate wherever you go.