Seven Steps to Inner Power
[UPDATED JULY 2023]
This kind of approach will not be for everyone. You are the best judge of whether you can successfully adopt this kind of thinking. Read on and decide!
There is no doubt that what I call the "emotional hole" can have a big impact on many chronic illnesses, including CFS and ME. Please see the pages below also, which address this area:
Also consider joining my Online Community - see links below - where you will meet other people going through similar experiences to you. This kind of peer support can be very powerful.
Counselling and other forms of psychotherapy can also be helpful. Here is a link to a voluntary counselling service based in Oswestry, Shropshire - U and I counselling See also British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy - Therapist Directory
I am grateful to a patient of mine who had ME/CFS for sharing with us all her wonderfully positive approach to illness and adversities - the Seven Steps. I trust it will help many.
NICE GUIDELINE NG206 Published 29 October 2021
On a similar note, it is of value to note that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help some CFS and ME sufferers cope with their illness, but this will not effect a cure. Of course, the Seven Steps can be used for all illnesses, and all situations, where the person feels comfortable. Regarding CBT and Graded Exercise Therapy (GET), the new NICE Guideline, after reviewing hundreds of medical papers, concluded thus -
The committee wanted to highlight that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has sometimes been assumed to be a cure for ME/CFS. However, it should only be offered to support people who live with ME/CFS to manage their symptoms, improve their functioning and reduce the distress associated with having a chronic illness. [NICE, NG206,Box 5]
And also that:
CBT for people with ME/CFS: (1)aims to improve their quality of life, including functioning, and reduce the distress associated with having a chronic illness (2) does not assume people have 'abnormal' illness beliefs and behaviours as an underlying cause of their ME/CFS, but recognises that thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physiology interact with each other. [NICE NG206, 1.12.32]
The Guideline went further on Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) and stated that:
Do not offer people with ME/CFS:....any programme ...that uses fixed incremental increases in physical activity or exercise, for example, graded exercise therapy [NICE NG206, 1.11.14]
Reference - NICE Guideline NG206 - "Recommendations"
The Seven Steps
Finding your Inner Power
Our minds can sometimes take us into stress and anxiety if we focus too hard on how to heal the physical body, i.e. why it happened, poor me, what to do, who to see, frustration! The list goes on. But I've come up with a theory, which is helping me, of how to grow energy and help lead us back to health.
Let's all say, "I want to come out of the shadow and stand in the sunlight. I want to feel joy and a passion for life. I want to be well. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I want to participate in life, and live it, and feel it and be it, and return to wholeness." I feel if we put the same amount of time into changing our thought patterns as we do thinking about our problems, we would transform. Let's imagine a new way of being:
Step One - Appreciate everything in life
Imagine what it would be like if your home was destroyed, and you were left with nothing. So look around you at what you have and be thankful for it. Appreciate everything in life, right down to the simplest things, like the cup that holds your drink and the chair that supports your body... And that includes yourself. So bless everything, no matter how you are feeling in this moment. Be grateful for what you have, and not regret what you don't have.
Step Two - Be aware of your thought patterns...
...watch where they are taking you. They can send you spiralling down into the darkest depths, or soaring up in the blue sky. Be in control of your mind, not it in control of you. Live in the present moment, without expectation - then you won't feel let down. Let go of past events and future possibilities - it only wastes time and energy. It's not about denying what is, but not focussing too much on the negative. By bringing back the balance, we find an inner harmony. Remember, we always have a choice. What have you created with your mind?
Step Three - Smile!
Enjoy joy. Feel it through the five senses - see, hear, touch, taste, smell. It gives pleasure. It lifts your spirits and grows energy. It will 'move' in you and make you feel alive. You connect to LIFE through your senses. So, touch velvet, hear music, taste chocolate, smell roses, see the sunset, or do whatever it is you like to do. Enjoy the experience of being alive!
Step Four - Purpose and direction
What is your gift? Do what you are good at. Feel passion for your endeavours. Everyone has a gift. It doesn't matter if you compose music or write letters. Whatever it is, do it. It will empower and strengthen you. It brings satisfaction and a sense of self-worth and confidence. Once you begin to open up and use your gift, ideas and opportunities will flood in; so begin a little, and start the ball rolling! It will expand you.
Step Five - Use your imagination
What do you want? Think it. Think it NOW! Think big. Think it with an emotional passion. Think it and feel it in the body. Involve all the senses in this imagination and bring it alive. The more you want something, the more likely it is to happen. But first you have to want. And know that you'll get it.
Step Six - Growing love
What do you love the most in your life? What people, things or memories lift you? Think of that now. It may be helpful to play calming, soothing music quietly in the background. Close your eyes and think of a loving memory. It may be a person, place or a pet. Perhaps you remember a special moment once when you were on your own in nature and experienced a warm, glowing feeling of love.
Re-live that loving remembering now. Feel it enter your heart and let it expand and fill you. Once you have the love, move the energy into your entire being. See it shining within every cell in your body. It will cleanse, heal and rejuvenate you.
Step Seven - Power. Inner strength.
Life is a gift and it's not to be wasted. Reconnect to your inner power. It requires commitment. Remember, ultimately we all stand alone, so be your own friend and trust in your own self with an inner knowing that you can do it. So say to yourself, "I AM healing right now." Know it and believe it. No fear. Just love for life - your life! This is real power. It's being consciously aware in the ever-present moment with a positive conscious mind - fully participating. No worries, no anxieties, no fear - just love. Change the pattern. It won't happen overnight, but step by step we will go forward.
My Online Community
Please join my online community -
- Healing the Emotional Hole in the Energy Bucket
- CFS and ME - Psychological or Physical?
- Psychological aspects of treating CFS and ME
- U and I counselling is a voluntary counselling service run by professional counsellors, working to the BACP code of ethics. It is based in Oswestry, Shropshire.
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy - Therapist Directory
- NICE Guideline NG206 - "Recommendations"
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