Life has its ups and downs — and adversity touches everyone at some point. But some experts believe that a focus on the positive can help you persevere through tough times.
For Anita Moorjani for example, life took a horrific turn when she was diagnosed with late stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Admitted to the hospital as a terminal patient, Moorjani slipped into a deep coma, nearly dying before she experienced a spontaneous remission and recovery. Her case has since fascinated the medical community.
While spontaneous remission of breast cancer is not uncommon, according to a study done by physician researchers at Dartmouth Medical School in 2009, it is rarely seen in a terminal cancer case.
“Her recovery was certainly remarkable. Based on what we have learned about cancer cell behaviors, I am unable to attribute her dramatic recovery to chemotherapy. I speculate that something non-physical switched off the mutated genes,” said Dr. Peter Ko, an oncologist with The University of Southern California, who has studied Moorjani’s case.
Moorjani attributes her victory in overcoming cancer to a belief in positive things, learning to live fearlessly, and finally loving herself.
In her New York Times bestseller, “Dying to Be Me” (Hay House), Moorjani candidly shares her story, discussing the lessons she learned from her near death experience, what she would have done differently and what she wants people to know now.
Here are some tips Moorjani feels can help others face their own trials:
• Prior to her devastating diagnosis, Moorjani’s life was driven by fear of illness. Rather than letting similar fears and stressors get the better of you, learn to enjoy yourself and take care of what’s inside.
• Much of our suffering stems from feeling “less than.” Love yourself unconditionally and be yourself fearlessly. Remind those close to you that you love them just the way they are.
• Don’t obsess over problems or allow your days to revolve around solving them. It’s actually far more productive to distract yourself and stay occupied with activities that stimulate you in positive, creative ways.
• “Thinking positive” can be tiring. Never suppress negative feelings when they creep in. Instead of bottling up your emotions, experience them naturally. After all, a bad mood won’t last forever.
• Everyday joys can go a long way toward helping you cope with stress and depression. Be it a box of chocolates, a home cooked meal or a great bottle of wine, don’t be shy about indulging yourself in moderation at meal time with foods that make you happiest.
“What’s most important for your well-being is how you feel about yourself during tough times,” Moorjani says.
You can’t always eliminate adversity from your life. Whether you are simply experiencing the stresses of daily life, are grieving the loss of a loved one, or struggling with the ramifications of your own health crisis, knowing how to cope is crucial to your health and can make all the difference in the world.