Self-Empowerment in the New Year
Make this the year to stick with your resolutions. Learn about PHA's resources that can help you empower yourself and make a commitment to a healthier you this year!
Maintaining a Positive Self-Image
Pulmonary hypertension is a “whole life” condition that can influence everything in your day-to-day. Changes to your body, both real and perceived, can be difficult to adjust to, practically, intellectually and emotionally. Here are a few strategies that have helped others with PH reflect and improve upon their self-image.
- Demistify Your Thinking – Without an awareness of the situations and circumstances that trigger negative thoughts, it’s easy to believe that you’re the only one who feels the way you do. By developing a critical awareness of the expectations you feel, it’s easier to recognize that your negative thoughts are just that – thoughts – and not direct reflections of reality.
- Accept What You Can’t Change Today – While research has come a long way in the past two decades, PH is still a life-altering disease. Allow yourself to grieve for the dreams and activities you’ve had to give up.
- Make Positive Changes Where You Can – Once you’ve accepted what you can’t change, it gets easier to zero in on areas of your life where you are willing and able to take control.
- Call in reinforcements. Surround yourself with friends and family who make you feel good about yourself.
- Be good to your body. Rather than focusing on the body you think you should have, focus on the body you do have. Work with your PH team to develop a nutrition plan, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, and don’t push your body too hard.
- Stay active. Talk to your PH doctor about developing an exercise plan. Low-level aerobic exercise, even just a daily stroll around your neighborhood, can be good for your body and mind.
- Celebrate your accomplishments. When you reach a personal goal or finish a project, take the time to recognize your achievement. Finding ways to formally recognize your successes can help you build new, positive identities post-diagnosis.
- Change the way you talk about yourself. If you find that you’re putting yourself down a lot, challenge your negative thoughts by replacing them with kind words that don’t reflect unrealistic expectations. Using your feelings and needs as guideposts can be a helpful way of translating negative self-talk into language that’s more compassionate and realistic.
- Stay in the moment. Your self-image, like life with PH, will have ups and downs. Your body, your health status, your outlook: none of these will stay the same forever. It can be helpful to think about every day as a new beginning, and appreciate each moment for what it is.
Read the full article, "Maintaining a Positive Self-Image"
Looking for more information? View additional PHA resources on living with PH