Sunday, January 29, 2012

Visualization is Key

To me, visualizing yourself as HEALTHY is the number one thing you can do for yourself when dealing with a chronice disease like rheumatoid arthritis.  My journey with rheumatoid arthritis has gone in many directions: medication, accupuncture, diet, supplements, physical therapy, and much more.  The one thing that has remained constant through my journey is me seeing myself as healthy.  Without that visualization, I don't believe I would be feeling as good as I do these days. 

Despite the pain I have felt in the past, visualizing myself healthy doing the things I love to do kept me going each and every day.  Sometimes the intensity and length of time the pain stayed with me blocked my ability to visualize myself healthy and my family needed to step in and visualize for me until I could do it alone again.  I remember feeling extreme pain yet a smile growing on my face as I saw myself once again do big things bike riding and taking long walks with my border collie or smaller things like jumping out of bed in the morning without stiff joints or taking a bath again without my husband having to be home to get me out.  Visualize yourself in a healthy place.  Draw pictures of yourself doing it, take pictures of things you want to do, do whatever it takes to keep that picture in your mind and look at it often.   I sincerely believe that we become what we visualize.    

Here are some posts I wrote while at different places on my journey related to visualization:
Visualization is Powerful
Visualization Helps During RA Panic Moment
Going in a Good Direction
Knee Cap
Epigenics and Our Health

What do you visualize your healthy self doing?   


  1. One of the main reasons I love to take pictures when I do get out and about is so that I can look back on them and smile. A reminder that I am "healthy" and even though I may be under the weather for a spell, I will return once again behind the lens and wondering out in the world.

  2. You look so great in the photo! It does help to have a goal and visualize it.

    I like to make treasure maps of things I want to do. Take a big piece of poster board and all your craft supplies and make a map, sooner than you think, you'll find your self in the middle of the adventure you've mapped out!

  3. Deb, I love the photos you take and share on your blog. What a great way to remind yourself of the "healthy" you.

    I love your treasure map idea. I have no doubt that lots of planning goes on with your map as you inspire me each time I visit you blog.

  4. I am in the process of working on a blog entry about visual imagery after some very positive experiences during a recent pain flare. I think that the practice of imagery is underutilized by the medical community in general. Thank you so much for this helpful article!

  5. Thanks for this post, Cathy.

    I find visualization really motivating, especially when it comes to exercise. If I visualize myself working out, feeling good and actually enjoying it, I find it so much easier to get started. Maybe I'll try to incorporate it into other areas of my life, too!

  6. I love your post Cathy because it's so true and I know it thru my personal experience with RA. After the initial diagnosis and year or so of turmoil, I just started telling myself that I wouldn't let this get the best of me. I was going in remission and I was going to resume as normal a life as I could.

    For the most part, it really did work. Or something worked. I believe that I live a full, active, happy, upbeat life, despite the RA.

    Thanks for this wonderful post.