Staying Positive With Sickle Cell
Telling someone to stay positive is one of the vaguest pieces of advice you can give to someone living with sickle cell.
What does it mean to "stay positive"?
Sometimes, I wonder what it really means to stay positive. However, here's what I think about staying positive,
It isn't something you have to do every minute. As in, you don't have to be positive every second of the day. Let's face it, you are human and you have feelings. Don't push your feelings aside, instead acknowledge and let them come peacefully.
This means, some days you will feel sad and some days, your positive attitude will radiate through you and spread across the room. The important thing is, do not let your current circumstances turn you into a total pessimist who doesn't see any good in their lives.
I remember when I was just diagnosed with avascular necrosis, it was difficult staying positive every day. Nothing made sense to me at that period.
At the end of the day, I didn't let that get the best of me. If you have ever wondered how you can stay positive in hard times, here are some more tips.
1. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude always helps you take your mind away from what you do not have to what you are blessed with. I recently started writing a gratitude journal and I think it is the best decision I’ve made recently.
Writing about the things you’re grateful for in your life will help you stay positive and hopeful for the future.
You can keep a handwritten journal or download a gratitude app on your phone. There are many free apps that will not only remind you to write down something but also guide you through the things that you can write about.
Aside from a gratitude journal, you can also keep an ordinary journal where you >write your thoughts and your feelings. I find that sometimes writing it out can help you see that it is not the end and become hopeful.
2. Have support
Let's face it, life with sickle cell is difficult. That's the truth.
However, having support can make it easier. Having people who understand you and do not judge you when you talk to them is a blessing. Not only is it a blessing, but it can also help you stay positive when things get hard.
3. Daily affirmations
Affirmation is a statement that is declared and believed to be true. Affirmations are a great way to remind yourself that there is more to you than sickle cell disorder.
You can create your own affirmation to stay positive or look for inspiration online or in an app.
Here are some affirmations I use daily
- I am in charge of how I feel today and I choose happiness
- Every day in every way I get better and better
- I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet
- I give myself space to grow and learn
- I'm in control of how I react to others
4. Be mindful of your thoughts
I have read quite a few self-help and personal development books and something I learned is that we are in control of our minds and thoughts. Unfortunately, we sometimes let our thoughts control us and take us to dark places.
By practicing mindfulness, you can control your thoughts. Meditation is a way very helpful to practice mindfulness. When you are mindful of your thought you can bring yourself back whenever your thoughts are getting negative.
5. Remind yourself that you are not alone
This also has something a lot to do with being mindful as well and affirming words. Tell yourself randomly that you are not alone. You are actually not alone so don't give up. Continue doing your best and staying positive.
Pick your friends, be around people that make you feel good. Our greatest influence is the people around us. That is why you need to make sure your circle is filled with people who lift your soul and influence you to greatness. It is important to note the people you spend the majority of your time with because they have the power to affect your mood.
Be around people that make you feel your best and not friends that remind you of how difficult life is. Like we all say, positive vibes only.
6. Have a dream or purpose in life
Your purpose for life can bring you joy and happiness so make sure you have dreams or goals that you want to achieve. Your dreams can give you the strength to keep pushing and staying positive. Yes, it can!
Write out what you wish to achieve, make plans, and work every day towards it. Having a vision board or mood board can help you get through hard times.
7. Seek professional help
Feeling down once in a while is okay but when it becomes something that affects your daily life, and you are getting so negative that you sometimes think suicidal thoughts, then you need to get help.
Talk to professional counselors or coaches. Let them guide you out of the darkness of negativity.
What awareness month activities do you plan to get involved in?