A friendly conversation that changed my life
Don’t we assume most of the things in life?
From guessing the outcome of our relationships to that of various events in our lives, and even our health conditions. We decide the reality of the situation in our minds even before reality gets a chance to decide what it wants. I too fell into this vicious trap recently. Again!
I was diagnosed with hypertension and my first human instinct was to panic, and immediately jump to certain conclusions: This condition was going to stay with me for the rest of my life. ONLY medicines could help me manage it. My life and health, as I knew it, are never going to be the same again. And so on, and so forth!
Every single day I suffered as I ruminated about the outcome of my situation. And when I saw the buffet of medicines lying in front of me, it worsened. I would have continued to wallow in the vicious circle of feeling unwell, and sunk deeper with my dependence on medication until a friend came along and broke the jinx. She gave me one of the most valuable pieces of advice that are probably going to stay with me for the rest of my life. It may just help you all as well.
She jolted me out of my lifelong belief- That once diagnosed with any ailment we are left with very few or no options at all. To begin with, she encouraged me to take a step backwards and view my situation differently. This gave me a wider perspective and introduced me to an entirely new world of alternatives that I had never even thought of considering before.
Working as a respiratory therapist in the same organization as me, she surprised me with this information- ‘Simple breathing exercises could help me effectively control my hypertension. Yet again, my first instinct was to actually dismiss the suggestion. My highly evolved human intellect made me wonder how something so simple in nature could help me with something so complicated as hypertension. But when I tried the technique a couple of times right there in front of her, I was in utter disbelief. Just a couple of seconds and I was already feeling calm. The reading on the bp apparatus, taken after 5 minutes, was down by three points!
And the cherry on the cake was that I was required to do these simple exercises only twice a day to see visible results. Of course, I had to continue taking my medication but the exercises would help me avoid aggravating my situation further. And if I would maintain my blood pressure within normal limits, I would be definitely looking at tapering my medicines eventually. This according to her, was just one of the ways how they helped people during cardio-pulmonary rehab. It wasn’t only the clinical help but also the lifestyle changes that made a significant difference in the patient’s lives. And it was indeed a revelation for a person like me who thought rehab never helped.
Just one piece of advice, a different perspective, a realization, acceptance, and a complex medical situation – simplified!
My takeaway- Whenever life throws a curveball your way, pause and breathe. Because there is always a way out.
Shouldn’t this apply to all the other situations in our lives as well?
Wouldn’t life be easier and we healthier?
And yes, if you want to learn more about the breathing technique she taught me, click on the video.