Envisioning Our Best Outcomes
When you have a chronic illness like COPD, your imagination can really go wild. We suffer from anxiety that is from living in the future and we honestly believe that what happened in the past will happen again. We live with depression from living in the past as we mourn for what was and what could have been. What happens if we leave that all behind and envision our best outcomes instead?
Visualize and write
Taking control of your mind is not easy and you have to work at it constantly. First, you must create a picture of what success looks like in your mind. Everyone will have a different picture of success. Is it getting up the stairs without becoming short of breath or is it walking into a crowded room using supplemental 02 and not having people stare? Using visualization helps you to focus on your goal. See it, be it, feel it.
Live your process
Write down your goals on a piece of paper or in your daily journal. It does not have to be a long-winded storybook but don’t be afraid to modify or change your strategies by setting mini-goals along the way. Writing your goals down will make them set in stone. You will get a better sense if they're achievable once they're written down.
Keep using positive talk to invoke your inner voice. Live your goals. What steps will it take to reach your goals? I tend to write, Step 1, then Step 2 and so one. Remember, good things come to those that are patient and follow a path. Imagine what your process will look like and live it.
Daydreaming of what your goals will look like makes them a bit more real. Zoning out while living your dream will help you to better envision the outcomes. What stands in your way can be eliminated and modified at any time.
One step at a time
It may take some work on your part. Using stairs without becoming short of breath does not just happen overnight. It takes a lot of planning and exercise to build up to it, but if you are willing to do the work, you can achieve your goals.
Don’t feel like it is now or never. Try going up one step while inhaling and as you exert yourself and lift your foot to reach the next step, exhale through pursed lips. Inhale on the step and exhale as you exert yourself and lift your foot to the next step. Once you have mastered one step, it is on to the next. How exhilarating is that? Don’t look up at the entire staircase, keep your mind on the stair and your feet. Getting it done one step at a time is the key to winning success.
Your mind is stronger than you realize and allowing bad thoughts to take over your mind means that only bad things can happen. Keep your mind strong and your positive thoughts win the race every time.
Do you have a COPD exacerbation tool kit?