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6. Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Sometime in college I came across the idea of gratitude lists. I had heard about writing down what you’re grateful for in times of sadness or when you’re in a rut to show you all the wonderful things in your life. And honestly, I always felt silly doing that, so I never tried.
But when I heard about gratitude lists again later on, it was to write down what you’re thankful for anytime. It could be before bed in a journal. It could be on a note on your phone on your morning train ride. The important thing is to continuously maintain a sense of gratitude. Gratitude attracts more good things in your life to be grateful for. (More on this in The Secret, which I highly recommend).
There are so many things to be thankful for!
I was having a pretty tough time in regards to my Crohn’s when I learned of this. I had also seen the documentary, The Secret and read the book. I did (and still do) believe that being grateful and exuding positive thoughts is healing and helps one get to where they want to be. (I highly recommend the book, and/or watching the documentary on Netflix!)
After that day, I sporadically wrote gratitude lists. I am glad to say I have been writing them weekly or more often now for a few months. I generally write one on Sunday or Monday for the week. I list things I am grateful that happened the previous week and things coming up. It gives me things to look forward to, and also a chance to reflect on all of the amazing things I have in my life, even small ones!
Have you ever watched the movie My Sister’s Keeper? (One of my favorites). There is a part when the very sick little girl is near the end of her life, and a family member visiting her in the hospital says something like, “Did you hear of the woman who asked her cancer cells to go away, and they did?!” It sounds crazy and you might think I am crazy for believing that can work, but I do.
I think the power we all have within us to shape our own lives is much, much, deeper than we know. I try to say positive affirmations every day, like these ones by Louise Hay.
I do not always remember, but more often than not when I am experiencing a bad stomach ache, I instantly remember the affirmations. I will repeat them aloud or in my head over and over. I honestly feel that whenever I do, my stomach pain quickly goes away. If you’re wary, try it! There is nothing to lose.
8. Juices & Smoothies
I get on a roll making smoothies and juices during the summer, usually starting every day with one. Once there is a chill in the air, I can’t do it!
What I like about juicing is that I can use more vegetables and roots like ginger and turmeric that are so valuable to gut health and healing inflammation. Cleaning the juicer is the only downfall, since pulp is created. I love the Black & Decker juicer I use. I got it last June for my birthday and it is perfect. It is easy to put together, use, and most of all, it is easy to CLEAN! This is a very inexpensive juicer- I highly recommend it!
In smoothies, I often add hemp powder, grass fed gelatin, and nut butters & milks for added nutrition.
I use a BELLA Personal Size Rocket Blender for my smoothies. I add all of my ingredients to one of the cups it comes with, screw on the lid/blade and put it on the base and watch it go to town. 😉 I have also used it for puréed vegetables and mashed cauliflower. It’s so versatile (and under $20!)
I am fortunate that there are few fruits and veggies that I do not tolerate. That being said, I can usually only handle eating a small amount at a time. Eating them with other food helps too. When I drink a juice or smoothie, I can get WAY more produce in than I would be able to consume by chewing.
9. I love animals… But don’t count on me going vegan anytime soon.
Those of us with autoimmune (or other) chronic illnesses are usually always willing to try different things to help us heal. I have tried lots, and some things work and some don’t. I know a lot of people with Crohn’s turn to vegetarianism or veganism and recommend it. I applaud them for trying something so difficult and I am happy if it works for some people, but giving up animal products is not in my future.
I truly just feel better when I have meat. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but I definitely need it in my diet. I’ve noticed a huge drop in my energy when I haven’t had meat in a day or two (doesn’t happen often). That brings me to a side point, I strongly believe in quality sources of meat! I buy organic and grass fed/pasture raised as much as possible. This is to avoid added hormones, corn and grain feed that is more than likely GMO and ensures that animals have had a satisfying life here on Earth. You will not see me buying Tyson, Perdue, other conventional brands or store brands (Whole Foods is the only exception because of their high standards).
One source of organic/grass-fed meat that I buy is ButcherBox. They deliver to your door however often you want it! By purchasing your first box here, you will get $10 off your order and a free package of paleo bacon!
I refuse to buy store-brand or low-quality meat because there is a good chance the animals were not treated well. Not only do I strongly disagree with that, but you are what you eat! Abused animals are not healthy.
10. Having a breakdown once in a while
Yep, you read that one right.
No one ever, in the history of humans can be put together all the time.
And we shouldn’t have to be. Or, (more likely) feel like we need to be.
A good cry is good for the soul! I don’t know about you but I having a good cry feels like I had expelled all of the pain and negativity from my body.
When it’s over, I take a deep breath, and go on.
When in doubt…
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank
Do you do any of these in your life? What do you incorporate that is different?