Mental health in chronic diseases

Our Mindset

“Our thoughts create the life we seek through the reflection of ourselves.” – Emmanuel

I had a few a-ha moments as I was listening to a podcast about mindfulness and the importance of it for professional athletes. We often hear about how the mind rules our lives. But what does that exactly mean?

In my own experience, on the same day, I can feel my best and worst, depending on what I choose to focus on and spend my energy.

My mind goes so fast that in a split of a second, it can vary dramatically, and change the direction of where I am focusing my energy on. As it turns, my emotions change, and consequently, my body reacts.

For these athletes, “focus,” “determination,” “defining a sense of purpose,” and “never lose hope” are critical to keeping them overcoming immense hurdles, indescribable challenges, and moving into the next milestone.

Some of these athletes have gone through severe setbacks, unexpected bad injuries that impacted their lives for months if not years. Multiple surgeries where a few had to relearn how to walk or swim. So what type of tools were used to surpass these difficulties? Well, they focused on what they wanted to be, the end goal, applied their fullness to become better, and never give up on their dreams.

I Had a Dream

As I wrote in my previous blog, finding why we do things matter, and controlling our minds is the way to do it.

For me, living with lupus can be translated into adjusting my daily routine, including diet, chores, work, social life to maintain my health more stable, and avoid consecutive flares. In three words: it is overwhelming.

But what is my ultimate goal of continuing to make all those changes?

Well, it is to be healthy, functional, present to my family, and able to have a better quality of life today. When I keep my mind on what I want to become, and why I am making these choices, life gets more comfortable, challenges look smaller.

I can compare it as preparing to run a marathon.

Before crossing the line, there are plenty of things that need to happen:

–    Invest many months in preparation and practice

–    Increase the goals slowly as well as the number of miles

–    Eat healthy with one balanced meal at a time

–    Exercise frequently to build the core

–    Evaluate the progress continually and improve the technic

–    Rely on a good coach and a support team

–    Have the right gear in place

No one will tell a non-runner like me to sprint for 26 miles straight in the first month. The goal should be to build muscle strength, endurance, resistance, and improve speed along the way, keeping an eye on the ball. To finish the race, without getting hurt. It’s about exercising smart, not hard. It’s about believing in achieving the goal, improving, and never give up.

With lupus, I find something similar.

I need a long-term plan, which is continuously reviewed. I need to prepare and mindfully adjust myself to the ups and downs, be committed to my health by eating healthy, keeping my weight well managed, and exercising regularly. I also need a sound support system: good doctors, right medication, a loving family, and friends to hold my hands and help me stand up tall when I am about to give up.

The big prize is priceless. It is all about increasing the joy of living, by including more quality hours in my day. And it all starts inside my mind, my small choices.

–    Does it take a lot of effort? Yes!

–    Does it require commitment? You bet!

–    Does it test the resilience? Absolutely!

–    Is it worth it? Indeed!

The main question is: is there anything I could have done to prevent a flare, an acute pain, or many days of fatigue? If the answer is yes, I should learn from my mistakes, adjust my choices to do better next time.

I invite you today to get inspired by all the superhero athletes around us, and wake up the same fire inside ourselves, by working out our minds to build the winner mental strength we need to continue to be an outstanding warrior!

Let’s go and impress people #lupies!

Yours truly,


“And the day come when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – AnaïsNin

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