How can my attitude help me cope with my chronic disease?

While it's important to know the physical aspects of disease prevention, knowing how to maintain a healthy spirit is important as well. Keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Remain optimistic. Research shows that happiness and a positive attitude are associated with lower rates of disease. Focus on your thoughts—stop negative ones and replace them with positive ones.
  • Control stress. Stress relievers like deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, as well as keeping a journal, can be helpful in controlling the impact stress has on your body.
  • Do everything in moderation. Don’t try to do too much at one time—make sure to have time for proper nutrition, sleep, work and play.
  • Create a network. Maintaining a close circle of family and friends can provide you with support when you need it.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

Perhaps you have a chronic health condition or are on the verge of one. Maybe you’re struggling with more everyday challenges. Chances are that you have suffered difficulty and loss, from mild to severe. Either way, you may be worried, in pain or simply frustrated and confused.

It is certainly important to recognize, honor and create sacred space to acknowledge the reality of what you have lived through and to feel all of your more challenging emotions, such as grief, anger, sadness and fear. The goal is not to deny the reality of your condition or feelings. Instead, make the best use of everything around you—yes, even illness itself—to feed your soul instead of steal from it.

  •  Your grief can break open your heart and help you feel the deepest possible love.
  •  Your anger can serve as the power that pushes you into action.
  •  Your sadness can deepen your awareness of and compassion for the suffering of others.
  •  Your fear can set the stage for make you more courageous.

In these ways, your challenges can serve as the vehicle for extraordinary personal transformation. They play the role of a spiritual weight resistance machine.

My prescription for you is not another pill. Instead, it is an attitude adjustment. It is a shift in perspective. I want you to learn about and embrace the power of your mind, starting today. One step at a time, one choice at a time, you can cultivate the skills that will help you reclaim your life—and with it, your optimal health—in this body, your body, in this moment and every moment.

This content originally appeared on

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Researchers found that the attitude people hold toward their chronic disease reflects how they manage it. For instance, those who see their diabetes as helping them to make positive life changes are probably also more likely to take their medications regularly, stay on track with their diet and weight loss and share what they’re doing with those they love. In turn, their families can help them each step of the way and motivate them with this positive psychology if they start to get off track.

This content originally appeared on

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.