15 Grit Quotes to Help You Push Through Tough Times | The Health Sessions

15 Grit Quotes to Help You Push Through Tough Times

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The thing that separates being chronically ill from ‘just’ being sick is how long the pain, fatigue and overall malaise impact your life. By definition, chronic illness refers to health problems that persist for 3 months or longer, and do not just disappear. Even if a full recovery is possible, it will take a lot of time and effort. And that’s exactly why you need grit.

Grit means staying motivated and determined over long periods of time to reach long-term goals, even when you experience adversity, failure and other disappointments. According to Angela Duckworth, author of the New York Times bestseller ‘Grit’, you need a combination of passion and perseverance to keep pursuing your purpose. Her research found that grit is a stronger predictor of success than how smart or talented you are. After all, you still have to consistently put in the effort to achieve your goals and overcome the obstacles on your way.

And the best finding? Grit is not something you’re born with or not, it’s a mindset that can be learned. 

To be gritty when you’re chronically ill, it helps to know your purpose. Maybe you want to reach your own definition of recovery, but working towards other important life goals like getting you degree, exploring the world, learning a fun skill and becoming a parent count too. Having a clear intention but flexible plans will help you take one step at a time in your desired direction, while still taking the unpredictability of living with chronic illness into account.

But to keep going after your dreams for such a length of time, grit requires you to view life as a marathon, not a sprint. You have to physically pace your energy, keep focused mentally and most of all, stay strong emotionally. You need to set very doable subgoals – being able to walk one block, study for 30 minutes or play tourist in your own town – so you have small wins along the way. You should also build supportive habits, so you don’t have to rely on willpower alone. And don’t be afraid to ask for help or rally your cheerleaders – everyone needs support every now and then.

And finally, to keep moving forward despite the debilitating health problems and other obstacles you face, you have to have hope in your heart. Deep down, some part of you has to believe that things will work out in the end, even if it’s not the way you’d hoped they would or if it takes much longer than you’d thought. So try to be kind and optimistic when you talk to yourself – your internal dialogue has more impact on your health and happiness than you may think.

For those tough times when even grit doesn’t cut it, the Finnish language and culture has a concept that might help you – sisu. Sisu runs even deeper than grit – it’s the mental toughness that spurs you to take action against overwhelming odds and carry your burden with unbreakable perseverance. The gentle power of sisu can be your light in the darkness in times of crisis.

Stay hopeful and determined to keep going after your goals and dreams with these 15 grit quotes. 

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12 Sea-Inspired Quotes about Swimming Against the Stream | The Health Sessions

12 Sea-Inspired Quotes about Swimming Against the Stream

Living with chronic illness can feel like swimming against the stream: you put all your energy and effort into moving towards your goals, and yet, it’s a struggle to make any sustainable progress.

Some days, you can barely keep your head above water, before you’re hit by the next wave. New symptoms pop up or well-known ones worsen. The smallest things – a few nights of poor sleep, eating too much sugar, tiring events – can throw you off course.

You try to hang onto every buoy you see, from the latest diet and detox trend to natural remedies that stood the test of time. But sometimes the pull of the water is too strong.

When you’re adrift in a sea of sickness, you can swim against the stream or literally go with the flow. There’s no right or wrong choice, it all depends on the situation. Sometimes, working against the tide might cause you to drown from exhaustion, while other times you just need that extra push to reach the shore. In the end, all that matters is that you stay afloat.

Sadly, when you have diabetes, kidney disease or POTS, no one else can do the swimming for you. You’re the one that has to live in and with your body, and all the symptoms, emotions and limitations that come with it. But like the ocean, life with chronic illness goes up and down. Even the roughest sea will calm down, and even the biggest waves eventually take you to the beach. You just got to keep your eyes on the horizon.

Take a look at these 12 sea-inspired quotes to help you stay afloat when you’re swimming against the stream. 

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The Power of Meditation: How to Lower Your Stress Linked to Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

The Power of Meditation: How to Lower Your Stress Linked to Chronic Illness

This article is written by Frankie Wallace. 

Let’s face it. Living with a chronic illness isn’t for the faint of heart. Every day, you’re battling pain, fatigue, and uncertainty. On top of this, you have the disconcerting knowledge that, without some kind of divine intervention or miracle cure, your condition is never going away.

You likely feel afraid, angry, and even powerless. But don’t. You are far stronger than you know, and you have more help in dealing with the stress, managing the emotions, and contending with the physical effects of your illness than you may realize. Meditation, for example. It can be just the weapon you need to fight–and thrive–another day.

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11 Chaos Quotes When Life Feels Like a Rollercoaster Ride | The Health Sessions

11 Chaos Quotes When Life Feels Like a Rollercoaster Ride

Living with heart problems, inflammatory bowel disease or COPD can feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster. One moment you might feel hopeful and determined you’ll ‘beat this illness’, and the next you break down over the pain, symptoms and heartache you have to deal with every single day. You’re confused, overwhelmed and don’t know what will happen next.

No matter which stage of chronic illness you’re in, you’ll likely face your share of ups and downs. From the uncertainty while doctors figuring out what’s wrong with you to the harsh truth (or relief!) of getting a diagnosis, from learning pain management and pacing strategies to the sadness of missing out on life, being chronically ill can surely take you on a hell of a ride.

When you feel like you’re on an rollercoaster, how can you deal with the chaos and emotional turmoil? 

First of all, zoom out mentally. When you’re in the middle of a figurative looping, there’s no room for anything else in your mind but being on that rollercoaster. But if you take a step back to see the bigger picture, you can see that the end of the ride is in sight. Sure, your chronic illness won’t magically go away, but your next ups and downs may be milder and more into the future than you can tell right now. So don’t get stuck in the moment or get caught up in the day-to-day drama.

Next, pause before you act. When you’re emotional, it’s easy to get carried away and act (out) uncharacteristically. But like psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” In simple words: take a moment between thinking upsetting thoughts or feeling heavy emotions, and acting upon them. Don’t make important decisions in the spur of a moment when you’re on that emotional rollercoaster.

Also, find constructive ways to deal with all those emotions. Breathing techniques can calm your nervous system, while journaling helps to put your feelings into words and reflect upon what’s happening. You could also express yourself creatively through drawing, dancing or cooking, or practice mindfulness to learn to accept your new reality. And sometimes, simply sitting with difficult feelings when they bubble up is all you need to step off that emotional rollercoaster.

Finally, engage in positive self-talk and self-compassion. Getting stuck in negative thought patterns or beating yourself up over what’s happening will only lengthen and intensify this ride.

Have a look at these 11 chaos quotes to help you cope when life feels like a rollercoaster. 

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17 Quotes to Help You Grow Through What You Go Through | The Health Sessions

17 Quotes to Help You Grow Through What You Go Through

Maybe you’ve heard that saying: ‘Grow through what you go through’.

In a way that’s true: every experience we have, good or bad, affects how we think, feel and act. But growth brings up images of ‘better’ or ‘more’, a process of expansion, right? So what does growth look like in the face of adversity?

According to research on post-traumatic growth, good things really can come out of a crisis. Some people who go through tough times not only manage to recover from that emotional distress, but the process of suffering can even propel them to a higher level of functioning than before. In those cases, surviving cancer, war or natural disasters can bring a new appreciation of life, strengthen relationships, increase self-esteem and make one feel more connected to humanity.

Studies show that the biggest personal growth happens following the most intense life events. Chronic illness is one of those events that can really turn your life upside down, when you suddenly have to cope with painful symptoms and fatigue, sadness and anxiety, or a changed body image. Feeling sick every day can also shake your core beliefs about yourself, life and the world around you.

How on earth could being chronically ill possibly make you grow? 

First of all, I’m not talking about the kind of personal development that has you striving every day to be a little bit better in terms of healthy living, knowledge, skills or other habits. Obviously those improvements are great, but in the context of chronic illness, growth refers more to developing qualities that are harder to measure. You may have to learn patience and acceptance when things are outside of your control. Your painful experiences could also make you more compassionate with others who are suffering, or help you embrace every part of yourself and lead a more authentic life. Or perhaps you turn out to be stronger and more resilient than you’d ever thought possible.

You get the point: growth does not just refer to climbing a symbolic ladder to reach the top, it can also mean you explore deep emotions or broadening your perspective on life.

If you look closely, nature provides us with many beautiful metaphors of growth through adversity. To paraphrase Pablo Neruda, the earth teaches us that just when everything seems dead in winter, the bulbs nested in the soil will suddenly bloom. Through the tiniest crack in the pavement grass and weeds will emerge – even concrete can stop nature from growing. And like the lotus born in the deep thick mud, our dark, painful experiences can transform us into a beautiful version of ourselves.

Not everyone will experience personal or spiritual growth after hardship, and that’s perfectly ok. You don’t need that pressure on top of everything else you’re dealing with!

But during times in your life when you’ve lost so much, it can be comforting to know that you may also simultaneously be gaining something positive, even if you’re not aware of it. Like Roy Bennett said: “Every challenge, every adversity, contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.” 

Get inspired by these 17 beautiful quotes to help you grow through what you go through.

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