Ways To Combat Chronic Fatigue – Rarely Mentioned
On my journey, I have discovered ways to combat chronic fatigue that changed my life for the better and in my opinion, can be used by almost anyone. One of the keys to recovery lies in our why?. You must have a strong enough reason to recover, a strong enough ‘why’ to take you through your darkest moments. Our thoughts and habits are also tools we can use to improve our health both physically and mentally, with minimal effort. Without these our chances are slim.
Our flame doesn’t burnout overnight, no, it dims over time and gets worse with each passing day. You see, nothing changes until we change it. We must identify our pitfalls, the things and thoughts that don’t serve us, and make the changes needed for us to recover. As the great Tony Robbins says “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”. Change is inevitable but, we can decide which direction to take.
The first step can be a little hazy for us, kinda like the chicken or the egg story. We haven’t the energy to ‘do’ much about our illness and our ability to absorb information has greatly diminished. Profound tiredness and general malaise had become the new normal. Through all this, our thoughts flow continuously, mostly negative and focused on the things that are ‘wrong’ in our lives. And, as the saying goes, “where focus goes, energy flows”.
So what can one do? Well there is one thing that we have absolute control over and that is, our thoughts. We can choose what to focus on. For too long our focus has been on our lack of energy and our inability to function as we once did. All we achieve by doing this is we attract more of the same. More doom and gloom. It’s time to break this habitual, negative thinking pattern and look at our glass as being half full.
Control Your Thoughts
Taking control of our thoughts is not an overnight job, it is a process, one that we must improve upon over time. This may seem like an impossible task at first because we have become accustomed to thinking about our problems and all the things that are ‘wrong’ in our lives. Let me ask you “has focusing on your problem ever solved your problem”? No, it hasn’t. The only thing that solves any problem is focusing on a solution.
Guided meditation and mindfulness are two great ways to train our mind and help us maintain focus. Like anything, the more we practice the easier it becomes. There is a great book on the power of thought called ‘Think And Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill (and it’s free). This book can help us understand ‘why’ we need to change our thoughts in order to recover. When we understand the importance of our thoughts then we can move on to our why?
‘Why’ You Want To Recover – Seven Levels Deep
We all need something that motivates us, otherwise we lose our drive. Simply saying we’re tired of being tired and wishing it wasn’t so, isn’t going to cut it. We must have a compelling reason to make the necessary changes to our lives, something strong enough to get us moving in the right direction. So how do we find our deepest reason, the reason we need to push us through our darkest moments? Let me give my ‘rarely mentioned’ example:
1. Why do I want to recover?
I want to be able to work and play again
2. Why do you want to work and play again?
Because I want to be able to connect with my family and provide for them
3. Why do you want to connect and provide?
Because I love my family and want to be there for them
4. Why do you want to be there for them?
So we can support each other
5. Why do you want to support your family?
Because they need me and it gives us more control
6. Why do you need more control?
so my kids will have more choices than we did growing up
7. Why do you want your kids to have more choices?
Because I love them dearly, and want them to know that no matter what happens in life – they can succeed. And, the only way I can do that is, show them.
The point of this exercise is to get to the deeper reason for wanting to recover by asking ‘why’ to each answer given – 7 times. By the time we reach our 7th why our emotion should be involved, and that’s what forces change. So, what’s your motivating reason? Does it provoke emotion in you?
It was approximately three years ago when I went through this exercise, I cried like a child. No longer did I wish to feel guilt and shame, and no longer would I accept defeat. Just because doctors couldn’t find a solution didn’t mean there was none. You can recover too, you just have to take one step at a time and above all, believe in yourself.
Thus far, we have learned to find a motivating reason and positively changing our thoughts are a great start toward recovery. So, what other ways to combat chronic fatigue are there that doesn’t take from our valuable energy resources? Making healthy changes to our diet is another step, which I have written a little more about here.
Stretching is also a brilliant way to help our bodies rid itself of the built up toxins that slow us down and, it takes minimal effort. The next time you yawn notice how your body feels, and how twisting and turning slightly feels so good. You don’t need to be a yoga or qigong master to benefit from stretching and your level of fitness or flexibility doesn’t matter.
There are many videos on YouTube that can help us get started but, one of my favorites is this lady. Remember, easy does it, only you can decide what you are able for, never push yourself too hard. My suggestion would be to start with laying or sitting down postures, as they use up little of our valuable energy resources.
Possibly the most important recovery tool to combat chronic fatigue and burnout would be pacing. Some days we feel better than others, and on these days we tend to take advantage of our extra energy and we simply do too much. We think that if we don’t do ‘it’ now whilst we have the energy ‘it’ will never be done. Not a good path to be on. Changing our thoughts and actions around this are a must, if we wish to recover. Our health is our wealth. Put you first.
We must rid our lives of the guilt associated with not getting things done. We are not bad or lazy, we are sick. Just because others cannot see our illness doesn’t mean we don’t have it. Stop, it doesn’t matter what others think, the fact is we feel the way we feel and offloading other peoples opinions will only benefit us.
You can find much more information about pacing and recovering from chronic fatigue/burnout here.
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Remember – “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” – Tony Robbins.