Boom, the unexpected laughter hit me. I mean it hit. It hit big. Hit like a boom. Still laughing. Still loving the unexpected thrills out of life during a healing journey. This particular laughter has provided so much stress relief that I wanted to share the story…
Chronic illness STINKS. Except for the unexpected thrills we can get along the way that can make us laugh, if we choose to.
I had one of those a few weeks ago and it has stuck. It has provided so much stress relief!!
There is a ton to worry about during chronic illness. I have the decades of worry just like many of you.
There has to be a better way to do this.
Worry Can Create Anxiety Attacks
When I was reminded that our worry can be a leading cause of our anxiety and anxiety attacks my ears perked up. It is obvious but I am practicing a healthy life so I need MORE practice on the good stuff!!
Some anxiety attacks are caused by the stress of over worrying. I just don’t worry more than I should. In comparison to 99% of the people I know, I am doing excellent. HA!!! The comparison was my first flaw in my thinking.
To test my theory that I have worry under control (for the most part) I chose to actively think on my worry. Not only think but self-correct. Ended up in the boom of laughter.
Turning Worry Into Laughter
A few weeks ago I dedicated a couple hours to thinking on my worry (that I supposedly don’t have much of).
Those hours revealed that my thoughts have too many worries. I was shocked. I could only focus this intently for a couple hours. The disappointment led me to the next step.
The following day, I chose to take the thoughts into captivity and immediately flip them. I mean this took some serious concentration. It was like I was moving in slow motion because it took so much effort.
Then it turned a bit funny. I would be walking, thinking on a worry, had to stop my feet to concentrate hard enough to think on
After several days of this I found myself unexpectingly laughing because it was hard to get my normal routine done through all this focus on worry.
The laughter turned it into fun. So I kept on going with lasting results.
Focus on Worry – Flip to BOOM
Once I was laughing at myself this became a game instead of a chore.
I would go about my day but have an intense awareness of any worry thoughts. It took focus but I wanted more giggles.
When the worry thought came to mind, I dealt with it until I could smile.
Examples are the best way to explain this one.
Keeping it Simple
During chronic illness and/or healing from it, there are tons of worries. Diet, protocols, supplements, hydration, movement, finances, relationships, on and on and on it all goes.
Those thoughts usually just pop up in our minds.
Flip it with the reality of the moment.
There isn’t any fruit in the house and I know that is stressing me because I eat a piece of fruit every afternoon — FLIP… I am currently doing a new moon cleanse and I don’t need even the natural sugar during it. I have my need met by NOT having fruit in the house. And I have food in the house so I am not going to stave before grocery day. BOOM. My needs are met for today, I do not need fruit and now I am grateful it is not in the house to tempt me.
My face is still swollen — After doing this for years, I know my body needs me to increase hydration and support kidney/liver. Okay, I used my worry time to think out what I need, not what is lacking. Take my feet to the kitchen for another glass of water. BOOM, I can do that, no problem.
My neck is sore and stiff — I just recently learned to put WO China Healing Oil on it to support the gall bladder. GET UP and do it, don’t keep suffering from the pain. HA, I actually have the energy to get up and do it!!!
It is STILL too hot and humid outside for me to be outside and I need sunshine and fresh air — FLIP… Move to my desk. A couple of months ago I moved my desk to sit inside with the morning sunshine coming through one window and looking out the other window to see the wind on the trees and the playful squirrels. And I have the air conditioner blowing. Oops, forgot to turn the air filter on today. GET UP and contribute to the best air I can get for TODAY. Double BOOM!!! I am on a role.
I got up 3 times during the last 3 paragraphs and took care of my own immediate needs and laughed at each one. Instead of seeing the impossibility of my big-picture situation, I broke it down into
You know what it is like. Our minds get rolling on what we are not receiving, the lack, the scarcity of resources, the negativity.
Focusing on the worry does not add to our life span or our health. It contributes to anxiety and slows down the healing process.
There are some people who already think this way and this is child’s play to them. For the rest of us, this takes discipline and practice to retrain our brains.
You can make this funnier than I ever can. Certainly you are a funnier person than I am. I don’t have the funny gene!!
If you are willing to flip your worries into laughter but you are stuck, try the following. Get out a pencil and paper and write down the following… Then when the worry thought comes to mind, work it to the best BOOM you can make it… Come on, bring the hammer down…
- worry thought
- acknowledge thought
- accept thought
- reality thought
- flip thought
- BOOM thought
Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. Without a doubt, I have had to practice this more than the average person. So you certainly can do this!!
Worry Thought #1
Waking up and being excited about a new day. Then getting up and feeling my body and being reminded of my physical limitations. My thinking would roam to a little worry.
Worry — how much can I realistically get done today with this healing body that is not ready for a marathon?
Acknowledge — yes, without any doubt there are still some limitations because of my health.
Accept — for today, I have to deal with TODAYS physical limitations.
Reality — this has been so much worse in the past, it is getting better AND I am actively dealing with the healing journey to the very best of my ability.
Flip — so… what MORE do I REALLY think I can do TODAY? Nothing because I am already doing it. I am succeeding in my efforts. Keep moving out of bed. Take it as fast or slow as I need to.
BOOM – celebrated the fact that I can now get out of bed on my own and move through the morning routine with more energy than I have had in many years. Can’t stop me now, here I go!!!!
Worry Thought # 2
Morning routine was going pretty good but as I walked from the bed to the bathroom to the kitchen I noticed the accumulated dust and unpainted walls and floors that needed to be mopped. STOP, think.
Worry — I cannot keep up with all the housework, it wears on me to even think about how much needs to be done. Each room has its yuck and I am tired of living in it.
Acknowledge — yes, I like a cleaner home. Nope, I don’t like feeling like I am useless in doing basic things like housework. How stinking hard can it be.
Accept — for today, I have to deal with TODAYS physical limitations. So focus ONLY on today.
Reality — I have come lightyears in the housework even though I still have limitations. It is not from lack of desire, it is from limitations. I have the most energy in the morning, so no skipping my morning chores.
Flip — so… what MORE do I REALLY think I can do TODAY?
BOOM – chores with a smile because I CAN do all of the basic housework in little bites every day, without requiring help. Skip-in-my-step as I continue with my chores. Even laughed out loud when I opened the back door to take care of chores I haven’t done in years!!!! I love how far I have come and that joy cannot be taken from me.
Worry Thought #3
Worry — I am starting to notice that I spend a tremendous amount of time worrying on the money issues; money this, finances that, everything cost too much, the debt from the health crash and years of inability, there is NO possible way to dig out of this hole. The thoughts rarely evade my mind.
Acknowledge — yes, a major health crash and chronic illness have depleted my resources. Yes, it removed me from employment. Yes, it will be a difficult journey to overcome.
Accept — what can I do TODAY? Eat what is available and healthy, not what I expect to be the perfect healing diet. I have any bad spending habits in the far distant past. I have to accept that I need to maintain my habits of being frugal so that I can keep moving out of the debt.
Reality – I can feed into the fear and scarcity that our culture provides in abundance or I can believe in myself.
Flip — ha, take this
BOOM – you silly worries, you are nothing. Big fat zero in my book. When I wake up each morning with a roof over my head and food in the kitchen, I can laugh at what silly useless worries go through my mind.
Last one… SAFETY. Because with a history of abuse and other trauma along with chronic illness, it is very difficult to feel safe. That anxiety can eat us alive if we don’t take active steps.
Worry — the amount of abuse and trauma in my life keeps me pinging. My mind wanders back to events. My heart races. I get tense. I am stressed. It has always been too much abuse and trauma. The health crash years ago was a whole new level of trauma. Pinging from the thoughts.
Acknowledge — yes, the events did happen.
Accept — abuse and trauma are part of my story but they do not define who I am. TODAY I clearly know that. So, TODAY I have another opportunity to practice being more than these events.
Reality — I have to literally look around the room that I am currently in. I have to see for myself that no one is physically attacking me at the moment. I have to remind myself that I am safe, I can physically look around the empty room and see safety for the moment. I can take note of my beating heart – it’s BEATING. I am not in the middle of heart failure any more. I am safe for the moment and I can enjoy this safety.
Flip — right NOW I am safe. I get to choose to feel safe. I can see it in the room I am in. I can feel a beating heart rate that I can control by my fear factor.
BOOM — this is a super tough one for me yet I am making progress. Nothing and no one could ever make me feel as fearful as I have in the past. No matter what life presents in the future, I have more control over my fear factor. BOOM, the snail wins the race and I am a winner that cannot be stopped.
I don’t know about you but I see so much joy in this process. I get so tickled at myself that I cannot help but laugh. Y’all have told me similar stories and how you have used this process to releive stress and anxiety. Keep laughing at yourself (or at me)!!!!
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