“Even now, as broken as you may feel, you are still so strong. There’s something to be said for how you hold yourself together and keep moving, even though you feel like shattering. Don’t stop. This is your healing. It doesn’t have to be pretty or graceful. You just have to keep going.” – Maxwell Diawuoh
I am very fascinated by anatomy and if I didn’t have FA I would actually consider becoming a cardio surgeon. My two favorite organs are the heart and the brain, even though I have a love/hate relationship with the brain. I love it because its so interesting that literally everything we do is because of the brain. How we react, how we see the world, how we think, how we treat ourselves and others…but at the same time I hate the brain because of all the pain it can cause.
According to Wikipedia “Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope.”
We unfortunately cant change the physical flaws of the brain that causes pain (yet). But we can work on our mental strength. Not long ago I didn’t really know what mental strength was. When I think about strength I immediately think about physical strength, but Cambridge Dictionary defines strength as “the ability to do things that need a lot of physical or mental effort.”
But how can we train our mental strength? Its not like we can go to the gym or go for a bike ride and come back mentally strong. If you put it into perspective it is kind of like that. Just like physical strength, mental strength is built over time. To see physical gains we must also give up unhealthy habits, such as eating junk food, and for mental gains, give up unhealthy habits. We are all able to become mentally stronger, the key is to keep practicing and exercising your mental muscles.
There is 3 kinds of destructing beliefs and bad mental habits:
1.Unhealthy belifs about ourselves. I dont know about you but I have found myself scrolling trough social media and felt really bad about myself. Feeling bad about how I look and how I do things because everyone seems to do it so much better than me. And feeling sorry for ourselves. Everyone can find a reason to feel sorry for themself but its so easy to feel sorry for yourself when you have a chronic disease. You’re not going to become better anytime soon. Especially if you have a progressive disease, you’re gonna get worse over time.Thinking `why do these thing have to happen to me?` and `I shouldn’t have to deal with this` makes us keep you focus on the problem.
2.Unhealthy beliefs about others. We think that other people can control us and it makes us give away our power. Saying `I have to work late`, there might be consequences if you don’t work late but you don’t HAVE TO do it. Or when you say `my mother in law drives me crazy` you give away your power. maybe she’s not the nicest person on earth but its up to you how you respond to her because you’re in control.
3.Unhealthy beliefs about the world. We belive that the world owes us something. I have thought for many years that if I work hard enough I deserve success, but thinking that will lead to disappointment. Dont get me wrong, hard work is much more effective than doing absolutely nothing. But you cant expect success or some kind of reward.
And just like physical training, mental training takes effort. Our minds get stuck in negatives. Theres actually a neurological explanation for this. It has to do with the part of the brain called the amygdala, which functions as an alarm and is constantly on the look out for danger, fear and bad news. We’re always looking for negatives that we can fix. Thats how our brain is built, so being positive and showing respect does take effort.
So what is the point in thinking positive if our negativity protects us from danger, fear and bad news? And if thinking positive takes effort then why bother? Well, of course you cant be positive all the time, nobody can. But have you ever thought that your negative thinking can be the source of your tired body or prolonged aches? If you have FA, like me, its going to take more than just positivity to fix our tired body. But negativity can be a big reason to why you’re struggling with your physical health.
In fact, doctors have found that people with high levels of negativity are more likely to suffer from degenerative brain diseases, cardiovascular problems, digestive issues, and recover from sickness much slower than those with a positive mindset.
So what does mental strength mean? Personally, I think it means to be kind to yourself and others. Not thinking too much of yourself but at the same time not thinking too little of yourself. Showing sympathy and showing respect to yourself and others. Knowing your self worth and knowing other peoples worth. Also, your inner dialogue is not only the longest dialogue you’re going to have but it’s the most important dialogue. The way you talk to yourself has a lot to say about how you treat yourself and others.