With an autoimmune condition, it’s sometimes hard to look on the bright side, mostly because it feels as if your body is trying to kill you. The idea of healing through an autoimmune disease is synonymous with the physical manifestation. Even if you aren’t seeing physical or major internal improvements, you may still be going in the right direction. Make sure you are receptive to your progress so you can celebrate the small wins of your autoimmune healing because I promise you, they are there.
How to Recognize the Small Wins of Your Big Autoimmune Condition.
If you have alopecia like I do, hair growth is success. If you have Psoriasis, like my Mother does, reduction of skin rashes and flare-ups mean a big win. Those who have less physical symptoms with autoimmune issues like Crohns, Hashimotos, Celiac, etc feel progress with more energy and a balanced belly. Those are the obvious wins but can you spot your small successes?
1.Change your idea of success.
While big is sometimes better, gentle is the real commander of success. You know that saying, “small steps lead to big changes”? Same goes for healing. “Small” in healing terminology really means “gentle.” Gentle modalities lead to big healing. Remember, if your body is in fight mode and/or on fire internally from inflammation, dropping healing bombs on it however well-intentioned isn’t validating the communication your body is giving you.
2. Don’t Expect Immediate Results.
That sounds counterintuitive especially if you just changed your diet, are taking a new form of medicine, and have just removed your major stressors. Your body is on its own timetable and is about to do what it does best, protect and heal you. It’s been getting the wrong messages for a while so it is in the process of adjusting its translator. Don’t rush the process otherwise you might get the same inflammatory message.
Best way to remove focus from result oriented thinking? Engage with the best accepts of your life. Spend more time with your hobby. Hang out with great friends that keep you relaxed and are supportive. Spend more time alone- this is the time to enjoy as much alone time as you want! Read the books you’ve wanted to! make whatever adjustments you need to and keep living!
3. Stay calm.
Every journey has ups and downs and healing your autoimmune condition is no exception. If you notice an increase in your symptoms, don’t panic. Take a calm look at your day to day and look at where you need to adjust. If you grew up on Homeopathy like I did, you know that when healing, things get worse before they get better. Sometimes and usually, an increase in symptoms after you are on your healing journey is your body’s way of bringing energy to the imbalanced areas to heal.
Remind yourself, your body knows what to do and you are here to support its natural ability to heal itself. Panic just puts your system back in fight mode and we all know we are done with that part of the stress tour!
A great way to feel the feelings without your body running wild with them is to play yourself mental healing recordings that remind yourself to stay balanced. You can create these for yourself or memorize and repeat this helpful one: “I am observing that my body is putting more energy to the areas that need healing. I will observe the feeling and trust my body and self to know what I need to adjust. I will look at my diet, lifestyle, and thoughts to see if something still feels out of balance.”
What ARE the Small Wins of My Autoimmune Healing Journey?
Getting your family or significant other to support you and your healing.
Not only are they supporting you but they will probably do their own healing because of you and the beautiful space of opportunity you are providing through your autoimmune challenge.
Seriously enjoying whatever AIP approved meal you just made.
Did you just make a fancy Pinterest AIP recipe? That’s a big deal! Did you just master how to make the perfect maduros (sweet plantains), that is a feat, trust me. I still can’t make them like my Titi (Aunt) Wanda.
Having a good hair day.
Major small win for Alopecia folks…but also for anyone else! Yes even with patches we can still have good hair days.
Getting to 14 days on the AIP diet.
AIP is a major dietary life change. Most people lose it when you tell them they can’t eat bread on their diets, let alone bread, dairy, grains, nightshades, and sugar. Even if you stumble in the beginning of eliminating, 2 weeks in is incredible.
Completing 30 days on AIP!
You guys! Most people can’t do thirty days on anything. There are all these articles about how if you can do something for thirty days you have created a new habit. Well, nurtuing and rebuilding your health is the best habit I can think of.
Suddenly noticing you have put yourself first in your life, and damn it feels good.
Oh this is my favorite! I don’t like hearing “no”, but boy do I love saying it! We have this societal mantra of “taking care of YOU, put yourself FIRST, YOU are the captain of your ship if you go down”… great but how many people actually really understand this? It is one thing to say today is all about me, it’s quite another to say my body is in an incredibly frail and vulnerable state and if I don’t follow what feels good and balanced for me, my body will not be able to continue to support me. My life and body are on the line.
Removing yourself from situations, people, places that don’t uplift you in service of your healing.
This is another one of my favorite wins. What an opportunity this autoimmune dis-ease was to rebalance my life and inspire me to remove things that actually weren’t the best for me. Following what feels good for your body is the beginning of true intimacy with yourself.
Noticing you have become more receptive to other modalities of healing.
There is a large number of people who don’t know how much of their own healing is and can be in their hands. Some autoimmune folks NEVER take a chance on holistic methods. If you have become more open to other healing modalities, you have most likely just opened up a major communication pathway with your body. It will definitely appreciate you for it.
How to Celebrate the Small Wins of Your Autoimmune Healing Journey.
Share it with your best friend in the whole wide world!
There is nothing that best friends love more than hearing about a new realization, success or growth opportunity their dear friend just had. They are your cheerleaders after all.
Do something extra you love that week!
Go see a movie, buy another winter coat even though you just bought 5 already and now the weather is starting to warm up but there is always next season so you really aren’t worried, or treat yourself to a massage!
Give your body some extra loving!
Keep doing what you’re doing. Feed it the good food, tell it the sweet things, take all the naps.
While healing is the goal of this journey, at some point on the road you’ll realize there is a massive shift taking place in you. Your mindset changes, you suddenly notice the incredible amount of grace it takes to enter a healing path, and you start to create the life and lifestyle that actually fits you best.
It is true, through our challenges we meet the most wonderful parts of ourselves. I mean, here I am getting to talk to all of you, what a gift!
Maybe all of this autoimmune inflammation is the fire we need to burn the old parts of us that are no longer useful. Like the Phoenix, I wonder if we are just absolutely ready for a new state of being.
Loving the positive vibes and want more autoimmune inspiration? Check out 10 Unmistakable Signs Your Body is Healing From Inflammation.