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June 24, 2024

E31 | Unlocking mindset power for cultivating resilience in dealing with chronic conditions

E31 | Unlocking mindset power for cultivating resilience in dealing with chronic conditions

Are you struggling to find relief and fulfillment while managing a chronic condition?

Many believe that the physical symptoms and lifestyle restrictions are the biggest hurdles in living well with chronic illness.

But what if the real game changer lies within your control—your mindset?

A negative mentality can amplify your pain and emotional stress, making day-to-day life even harder to manage. On the flip side, adopting a positive mindset can be a powerful tool in reducing stress, managing pain, and boosting your immune system.


  • How mindset can influence physical health and symptom management
  • Practical steps to foster a positive and resilient outlook
  • Holistic strategies incorporating mindfulness, diet, and social support to enhance well-being
  • Ways to shift your perspective to manage your chronic condition and improve your quality of life.


Episodes Mentioned:

Book Recommendations:

Rising strong by Brene Brown

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@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey

Your body knows how to heal, are you ready to support it?


01:19 - A powerful story about vulnerability, resilience, and embracing our own stories

03:13 - A positive mindset isn't just 'feel-good' talk

04:56 - The real problem causing your symptoms can often be multifaceted

07:13 - Common methods that often don't work

09:57 - 4 strategies that addresses both physical and mental well-being


 What if I told you that the biggest barrier to living well with a chronic condition isn't the pain or the restrictions, but rather something within your control. Most people think resilience and adaptability come naturally, but the truth is they can be cultivated through the power of your mindset.

In today's episode, we'll uncover how shifting your perspective can transform your life with chronic illness. That's all coming up next right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey. Welcome to Embrace Your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate the illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty and find relief from their symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you. Tune in weekly as I, a Functional medicine certified health coach, deliver tips and insights that demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more

In each episode, I share inspiring poems, stories, and quotes that may help you to draw strength from and stay motivated on your healing journey. I hope that you've heard of Brené Brown. She's an excellent author, and in one of her books, you know the she has many books. One of the books is called Rising Strong, and in that book, she shares a powerful story about vulnerability, resilience, and embracing our own stories. And one particular story stands out for me as it deals with her experiences while swimming in a lake. Here's an excerpt from that passage. She says

I was standing waist deep in a very cold lake Travis in the Texas Hill Country, trying to talk myself into into swimming across a short cove. My heart rate was already high, and I was afraid that I wouldn't make it. It wasn't until later I realized the deeper fear I was facing. What if this was it? What if the prediction that I lost my ability to trust myself and others was true? The question wasn't if I could physically swim across the. The true question was, could I trust myself? We can't rise strong when we are on the ropes without forgiving ourselves for falling. At that moment in the middle of the lake, I decided to own my story. I wanted to be brave. By the time I stopped just a few minutes later, I was standing on the shore of the other side of the cove. It wasn't heroic or even very triumphant, but damn, it felt brave. It was a small act that created a big shift. I can do this. Embracing a vulnerable urban realities is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy, the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

Isn't this a beautiful story about courage and resilience? About the power of our mind in cultivating resilience in the face of a challenge? Because just like Brené Brown showed us in her story, having the right mindset can make all the difference. And this is true even when you're dealing with a chronic condition or any other challenge in your life. Because you know, a positive mindset is not just a feel good talk, it's science. We know that now. Keeping a positive outlook can help manage stress better, which in turn can reduce inflammation and boost your immune system and bring it back into balance. It's like giving your body a fighting chance. So we will explore this and much more in later in this podcast episode. So by recognizing how different mindsets directly affect your symptoms and behavior, you can actually harness the power of a positive and resilient mindset to improve your well-being. This way, you are not just surviving from a chronic condition, but you're actually thriving in spite of having this diagnosis or this disease. For example, if you're dealing with physical symptoms such as chronic pain, having a negative mindset would look like this. This pain is unbearable and it will never get better. A positive mindset would be the pain is challenging, but I can find ways to manage it and still live my life. And for example, an example of an emotional symptoms such as anxiety a negative mindset would look like. I'm constantly worried about my health and future. While a positive mindset would be I acknowledge my worries. They are certainly there, but I will actually only focus on what I can control and take things one step at a time. But there's another example that I want to share with you. And it's about avoiding something, you know, doing something when it's hard, especially when you're dealing with a chronic illness or negative mindset, would say, I'll never be able to do the things I enjoy anymore. It's safer to avoid trying, uh, someone with a positive mindset to take the approach I might need to adapt, but I can still find ways to engage in activities that I love. So you know the real problem causing your symptoms can often be multifaceted, and it involves both physical and psychological factors. So they can be factors such as your underlying health conditions of course. So chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis or any other such autoimmune or other chronic condition can cause outgoing pain, fatigue and other such physical symptoms. This much is very clear, but there are also psychological stress because of living with a chronic condition. So this means that we can have increased stress, anxiety and depression, and these emotional states can actually worsen our physical symptoms and make it even harder to manage day to day life. Then we have psychosocial lifestyle factors such as poor sleep, uh, inadequate nutrition or poor nutrition and lack of exercise. All these can actually, again, aggravate our symptoms. And finally, mindset and perception as you have probably understood them, your mindset plays a critical role in how you perceive and respond to your symptoms and your illness. A negative mindset can increase the perception of pain and fatigue. While a positive mindset can help you find effective coping strategies and maintain better overall health. So by addressing both the physical, uh, physical and psychological aspects of your condition and by learning how to develop a positive mindset, you can actually improve your ability to manage your symptoms and lead a more fulfilling life. This is exactly what my client did. She had a multiple autoimmune conditions. She had, uh, she had put her cancer in remission. But there were so many other things, you know, so many symptoms. And the symptoms kept coming back. It was very hard because she was on so many medications to deal with so many of her, uh, you know, different variety of conditions that she could not really get off her medications, but by adopting a more positive mindset, gratitude, you know, journaling, there's so many different ways that we can do that. Changing her story or why it had happened to her, she actually was is able to actually live a more fulfilling life, uh, adapting to the situation. So all of these can help us to thrive in spite of her condition. So when managing chronic conditions, you may actually also have tried various approaches, but they may not have provided the desired relief because these are some of the common methods that people often try. And they and, you know, also they may not work. So medical interventions such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, they of course, are sometimes necessary. And they can help manage emotional symptoms. But they can also fail to work or bring about unwanted side effects. So they are not always the solution that you're looking for. Or ignoring emotions and suppressing your feelings can also worsen mental health and stress levels because you're not dealing with them. And they definitely sort of come back in at a time that you don't want to. It's, you know, you might sweep it under the carpet, but it definitely comes back. At some point or another. The other thing that happens is that avoiding social interaction or distancing yourself from social interactions can actually increase feelings of loneliness and depression. And we are social beings, right? We have evolved over millions of years to be to spend time with each other. And this then this kind of isolation is certainly not helpful for us. So all these kind of interventions may not help you for three main reasons. One is that they often address symptoms in isolation and focus only on physical health like the anti you know, depression medications. They do not focus on mental and emotional well-being. Then there are also unrealistic expectations expecting quick fixes on immediate results. That is just not possible in case of chronic conditions, right. We can see certain improvements of course. But you know making everything go away. It's not possible. It takes time. It is probably taken years, if not decades for your symptoms to have developed and for the disease, you know, to continue to progress. It's certainly not going to reverse overnight. Right. The other thing is, negative mindsets themselves or emotional resistance can actually undermine even the most effective physical treatment. So I tell my clients that even if you have the best or the perfect diet for your unique requirements, if you do not address your emotional health, you will probably not see sustainable results. So by recognizing these challenges and the limited success of certain approaches like this, you can actually personalize your strategy. So you need to make sure that you include both physical and psychological aspects, so that you can actually develop a more positive and resilient mindset. Your mindset has the power to change your life. It is a game changer. It can completely change the trajectory of your healing journey, and it can certainly help you to manage your chronic condition more effectively and of course, improve your overall quality of life. But it does require a comprehensive approach that addresses both physical and mental well-being. So here's what you can do instead. Number one, incorporate a holistic approach using multiple therapies so you can combine medical treatments with physical therapy, dietary changes, alternative therapies like acupuncture or yoga. You know, tai chi. So this means that you're addressing all aspects of your condition, right. So this is a certainly a holistic approach. I've talked more about this in an earlier episode 22. It's called keep it Simple small shifts for the chronically ill. And even the small steps that you take can have a compounding effect down the line. Number two is personalize your plan. So customize your treatment plan to fit your specific needs and preferences. In this case, you will benefit the most when you work closely with a functional medicine practitioner and health coach. And because they are the ones who are trained to provide a personalized solution, this is extremely important. This is actually the number one reason that people fail to see a. Sustainable results even when they have, you know, uh, tried actually making certain changes to address the root causes because you need to understand what diet is required for your particular needs, what supplements, at what dose, what form. Everything has to be personalized. And you can listen to episode 29 to learn more about this, uh, this, uh, which is how working with the health coach can help you navigate day to day challenges of living with a chronic illness. And number three is adopt a positive mindset. You can do this by practicing mindfulness and developing a growth mindset. You know it means that you acknowledge the challenges. You are not in denial, but you also focus on what you can control and you celebrate the small victories along the way. And of course, if there are, uh, mental health issues and this is not getting addressed, you should also regularly consult with a mental health professional if necessary, right? They can provide valuable tools to manage stress, anxiety and depression, which will include a psychologist or a psychiatrist, depending on the situation. And number four, build a supportive network by cultivating social connections. So it means, as I mentioned, that we are social beings and relationships are very social. Relationships are very important to us. So and they can provide emotional support. So you can connect with others, uh, such as support groups or online communities who understand your experience, who probably going to the same thing, and they can provide you with the support that you need. Because managing chronic conditions requires a comprehensive approach. It requires something that addresses both physical and mental well-being. So instead of focusing solely on one aspect, it is crucial to integrate a holistic strategy. And it should include everything like medical treatment, physical therapy, diet, alternative therapy, and of course, your mindset. So customizing a treatment plan can ensure that your interventions are tailored to your specific needs. Plus, over and above this, adopting a positive mindset and developing a growth mindset can help you better manage challenges because you're focusing on what you can control instead of focusing on things that are not in your control. Because men, most of us end up doing that. And a health coach is functional medicine certified health coach is trained to help you do just this. And, uh, I mentioned that, you know, supportive network is really important because, you know, connecting with others can significantly reduce feelings of isolation and actually help many of your symptoms. So all the strategies that I've mentioned not only address your physical symptoms, but they also nurture a more your mental and emotional health. This means that you actually have a more balanced and effective approach to living with a chronic condition. So it's your harnessing the power of your mindset and your shifting from just surviving to truly thriving. Uh, even with the, uh, any kind of chronic condition, even one that is deemed incurable. So I hope that this has given you some thoughts. It has changed your perspective about how you can deal with your health issues. And if you have any further questions, and if all you would like to learn more about function, medicine, health coaching or how you can work with me, you can connect with me on Instagram at the rate and in the room. To thank you so much for joining me today for this episode of Embrace Your Healing Journey. If you like this episode, you can pay it forward and share it with a friend who might want to hear this message. I need to hear this message today, and if you love the show, make sure that you write a five star review. Even one sentence helps me bring the continue to bring the content that you want to hear. Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?