Martina Roe: Seven Strategies (6)

Rubrika: Publicistika – Zajímavosti

Sedm strategií jak se vyrovnat 
7 Strategies how to cope with illness or disability

1. Allow yourself time to come to terms with your illness
2. You are not alone – make most of all help and support groups
3. Nurture yourself
4. Learn how you can best help yourself feel better
5. Concentrate on the present, do not dwell in the past or worry about the future

6. Try to eliminate stress from your life

7. You are the maker of your own luck

Illness and disability might come in many forms. Some illnesses and disabilities have to be faced from birth; others are developed during people’s lifetime. They can come on suddenly or gradually develop over many years without the person knowing about it. People are usually genetically predisposed but illnesses can also be the result of the polluted environment or the lifestyle we adopt. Coming to terms with any illness is not easy and might take a long time especially when your illness surprises you suddenly.
Imagine that you are happy, your life is going very well and you are very proud of all your achievements. You have got a great family and circle of friends until one day something very unfortunate happens to you. You become ill or have an accident and you can no longer enjoy life as you used to. Suddenly everything seems to be falling apart. All kinds of scenarios may come up; you might no longer be in a position to support your family financially, you could lose your job, simply your dreams are falling apart. This is the hardest time and naturally you will be down about it, yet with a few changes you might still be able to live your life to the full. The following easy steps should help you in the right direction. 

6. Try to eliminate stress from your life

As we all know stress contributes greatly to many illnesses. In small dosage it is useful, but on a large scale can be very negative. When our body senses danger it prepares to flee in which case our heart rate increases. If we experience such states too often our health suffers as a result. The slower our heart rates the longer our life. Breathing exercises can help us calm down. Are you breathing properly? Let’s make a test which will help you to answer this question.

Stand or sit straight in front of a mirror. Take one deep breath and watch yourself. 
Did your shoulders move up? If yes, you are breathing through your chest and not your abdomen which is not correct. Now put your hands on your abdomen and take some more deep breaths. Can you feel your hands move up and down? Then you are breathing correctly. Try and practise this deep breathing exercise each day for a few minutes. Later you will start to adopt such breathing automatically throughout the day without even thinking about it.
If you find it difficult to sleep then deep breathing exercises can also help you to relax and go to sleep. Sleep is naturally very important for regeneration of your body. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. The need for the length of sleep will naturally vary for each individual. Try to free yourself from all worries or any anger, relax before going to bed with a gentle music or a book, anything which will help you to fall asleep. Do not watch television just before going to bed and if at all possible, have your bedroom television free. Just think how parents put their small children to bed. They pamper them with a bath and once they are nice and cosy in bed they read them a bedtime story or sing a lullaby. We know it works for little children but we do not apply it to ourselves.
We should try and live in harmony with everybody which might not always be easy. I am aware that the relationships in our neighbourhood are rather tense and the same can apply to any family situation. The neighbours in our road always fight for parking spaces, especially during the weekends. One day our neighbour could not find a parking space so she parked her car in front of her garage, but at the same time blocked the entrance to another neighbour’s garage. He did not like it and asked her to move the car. At the end they started to argue. The arguments ended up in violence with the police having to be involved. In such arguments it is difficult to judge who is to blame because both parties are equally guilty, but the lesson to learn is not to get involved in such arguments or learn how to deal with them constructively. If you are furious with somebody take a few deep breaths and explain calmly to the person why you are angry and what you would like the person to do instead. Do not swear at anybody or accuse them of being an idiot, the response you will be getting should be less hostile. Write down on a piece of paper something similar to the following quote.
“I can express my anger, irritability or rage politely and effectively. It does not matter with whom or what the issue is.”
Our neighbour has learnt a lesson not to park in front of garages of other families. Sometimes it is better to avoid conflictive situations even if it means an effort. In the case of our neighbour it is the inconvenience of parking her car a bit further away from her house and having to walk slightly more. But then walking is healthy; she might even be doing something for her health. Actually she has to use her legs rather a lot at the moment because she was drink driving and had her licence taken away for a year. In the meantime she moved and since she was allowed to drive she was caught by police again while driving under the influence of alcohol. This time she will have to survive without her car slightly longer. Despite all her problems I tried to stay good friend with her. 
She has supported me incredibly well when I was at my lowest and I appreciate that tremendously and shall never forget the support she offered me during my difficult times. She might have some faults but then we all do, and often it is impossible to understand why people behave the way they do. When I was younger I sometimes used to see children who were really naughty, full of tantrums in the streets, and could not comprehend how their parents could let them behave in such an awful manner. But years later when I had my own children I finally realised that even they had their difficult moments similar to the ones I could not comprehend in the past. In such situations I used to say to myself that there must be others who judge me in the same way as I used to criticise other parents.  
New information and communication technologies are making our lives easier and especially people who are not very mobile benefit greatly from these. But there are naturally some very negative features. As well as encouraging a less healthy and more sedentary lifestyle modern technologies take the human touch away from us. Children find it more difficult to interact with each other after they spend hours on the computer and many families are deciding to have their home computer and television free as it makes their family lives less stressful. Children might resist such idea first but later they become more creative and can interact better with their parents, siblings and friends. It might be an idea to review your use of modern technologies and possibly restrict their use, if at all possible. It is always nicer to meet your friends in person than just send e-mails to them.
I have also found that prayers can help you have a positive attitude and keep you peaceful. They work very much like hypnosis; you believe there is some higher spiritual being that is helping you overcome your problems. As a child I grew up in Prague under the communist regime. At that time you were not allowed to practise your religion and only could do so in secret. My family went to church on Sundays, but because discussing matters was also not on the agenda under the communist regime, I never quite understood the concept of God. I imagined the Bible to be a book of fairytales where Jesus is the one who ensures that good wins over evil, but did not really believe the events to be true. It was not until I was about 15 years old that I started to understand more about religion; by then the communist regime was breaking down. Since then I believed sometimes very strongly but I also, like everyone else, had doubts at other times. When I feel better, I believe in God strongly, but when I feel ill, I can doubt his existence. Yet I sense this is somehow wrong. You yourself might be going through very similar mixed feelings. But I am always assured that God will be there for me even if I doubted him and he will forgive me even though I might occasionally doubt his existence. I once assembled some prayers and put them on a website. One energy healer said to me that the prayer page was full of energy. His comment reassured me that with good intentions you would always be surrounded by peace and positivity.
Naturally bad intentions will only flood us with negative energy. That is why our conscience will constantly remind us about the unpleasant things we have done. I can remember such situations very well from my childhood. Once after school I was waiting in a cloakroom for my friend to get dressed so we could go home. But she was ignoring me and was chatting with a boy. I got fed up waiting and to make sure I paid her back I grabbed her favourite hat and threw it into a cloakroom of another classroom. It made me feel awful and I felt even worse when her mum made sad comments about it. I also once swapped unintentionally our shoes. I had a kind of boy’s open sandals which were brown and she had brand new girl’s shoes which were exactly the same colour. One day, by mistake I put her shoes on thinking they were mine. I simply made a mistake; because they were the same colour I put them on without even thinking they belonged to somebody else. When I came home I started to wonder why my shoes looked so pretty. Next day, there was a big discussion in which even the classroom teacher was involved trying to find the guilty culprit. I realised it was me who took her shoes by mistake but I did not want to acknowledge it, and claimed that these shoes were mine and I never returned them. My own shoes were still in the cloakroom for a long time before someone eventually got rid of them. I was surprised I was never questioned more by the teacher or my girlfriend’s parents but I got away with that. I kept these shoes and wore them for at least 3 more years. The wearing got easier for me because shortly after I claimed these shoes were mine I started a new language school. My friend’s family was one of the few brave who ventured to church on Sundays. Sometimes I was silly enough to wear her shoes and remember hiding them under the bench so she would not see them. Well all these years I felt really bad about it, my conscience just would not give me peace. But at the end we were on equal terms because apparently my girlfriend on another occasion did some naughty trick with my slippers and my grandmother had to buy me new ones. The funny thing is I do not even remember it. 
I pray simple prayers every day, thanking God for all the great things he gave me, teaching me to get on well with everybody and not to bear grudge against my enemies. It is not even the case that I would recite prayers, but I experience them through my life. I have learned that God is inside each one of us, but it depends on each individual how much we actually notice him. Praying is all about making you a happier, healthier and wealthier person. It can also help you go to sleep.
It is also well known that people who worship God regularly live healthier, longer and happier lives. It is often the social contact and support from church members that contribute to this happiness in great amount. But beware of sects, who in God’s name want to create evil, they recruit people and especially those vulnerable ones will say yes“. If you know the Bible well the sect member will not bother you. I remember after the fall of communism the Czech sects that were until then forced to practise only in secrecy, were recruiting their new members. Once they knocked even on our door and my father, because he did not know who these people were, invited them in. When the cult associates found out that my father knew the Bible well, they left very quickly without bothering him ever again.

·         Learn how to breath well and practise deep breathing exercises
·         Relax before bedtime ensuring you get enough rest, going to bed and getting up at regular times
·         Learn how to live in harmony by learning how to express anger in a constructive way
·         Prayers can help you to live a stress free live as well as giving you hope and believe in yourself


Tento článek byl v Pozitivních novinách poprvé publikován 04. 03. 2009.