Do you ever find yourself resentful of someone who doesn’t have to deal with a chronic condition? What about just plain feeling sorry for yourself? Does it really help to think how everyone has it so much better than you?
If you didn’t ever feel resentful or feel sorry for yourself, you wouldn’t be human. As a temporary device, it might help soothe the pain, but it’s not a long-term solution. When we start feeling sorry for ourselves, we can loose sight of the fact that we’re wallowing in misery. It not only drains one of valuable energy and time, it wears on your immune system and it also irritates the people around you.
Things to Help Get You Off the Pity Pot
• Recognize that you are feeling sorry for yourself.
• Join a support group, where others have experiences similar to yours. You can do this on-line or in person.
• Volunteer. Helping someone else will help you. Even if you are home bound, there are ways you can be helpful to others. Need ideas? Contact your condition specific organization, church, community organization, family and friends and offer to help. Doing phones calls, stuffing envelopes, making a meal. The list is endless
• Drop “if only” from your vocabulary and don’t make a practice of hanging out with people who start sentences with it. “If only” leads to a litany of things that someone is feeling sorry for themselves about. Instead develop a language of strength. Think about your positive strengths and qualities. Each day, pick a strength and use it in a new way.
• There are plus sides to everything. Check out The Positives of Having a Chronic Illness
• Practice gratitude. There are lots of ways to do this including:
- Every evening, write down three good things that happened that day and think about why they happened.
- Write a letter to someone explaining why you feel grateful for something they’ve done or said. Read the letter to the recipient, either in person or over the phone.
- Make a mental spotlight each night and scan over the events of the day, thinking about what went right.
• Stuff happens to everyone. It may be different than what your dealing with, but everybody gets their own “sack of rocks.” Comparing yourself to others is fruitless if for no other reason then you don’t know what people are dealing with. As the proverb says “Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.”
• Remember we’re wired to be resilient so consequently, negative life events wont have as lasting an impact as you might think.
There is also the question, ”How do I get them to stop feeling sorry for themselves?” Simply put you can’t change anyone’s behavior. Read more on this topic, “They Don’t Take Care of Themselves.”
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. Carl Sandburg