Thursday, June 6, 2013


I wanted to write about this because recently I have witnessed and experienced Facebook friends being the victim of unkind words. Have you ever really paid close attention to how you feel when someone says something unkind to you?

When someone says unkind things to you, or offends you, or insults you, it can cause stress, which can cause a physical, chemical, or emotional reaction that causes body and/or mental tension and may be a factor in causing disease. Science has seen this is true. So learning not to allow these situations to overly upset and stress us, is I think, a very important technique we should all work on.

I know this is something I work on with my therapist regularly. I have always allowed situations where people treated me unkindly, or treated me badly to send my blood pressure through the roof and hold on to that upset and stress like a dog with a bone. This is not good for me - or anyone for that matter. I am working on learning coping techniques so that I don't run these situations over and over again in my mind, making myself crazy. I have an over developed sense of right and wrong and when I feel that I have been wronged, it has always been very hard for me to let it go. This is something I am really working on and while it is a work in progress, I am better at it than I was before.

It's important to take note of how we FEEL when someone says something unkind to us. As noted above, something chemical actually happens inside our bodies when this happens and this can actually lead to serious health issues that can kill us. Our blood pressure is impacted, our heart races, stress goes way up. All of this is bad for even healthy people. But if you are fighting IC and other medical conditions, it is even worse for us. It can cause our symptoms to flare and send our IC and any associated conditions into overdrive. None of this is good for us.

It takes practice, but there are things you can do to "train" yourself how not to let these unkind words being said to you make you sick. Here is something I am working on, with help from my therapist, to help me deal with these situations when they happen.

Take some time - either when it happens or later - to think about the last time someone hurt you, made you angry or said unkind things about you. Write down how that made you feel; just a quick list of the feelings you felt at that time; i.e. angry, hurt, sick, upset, etc.

Then take some time to think of the last time someone said or did something that made you feel good. Think about it for a while. Try to remember as many details as you can. Work on your breathing and try to remember how pleasant and enjoyable that experience was. Then, like before, write those feelings down too. What words come to mind when you think of that experience? Happy, pleased, encouraged, loved? Write these down.

Once you have worked on figuring out the words that made you feel good from a pleasant experience, write them on a piece of paper or sticky notes. Keep them in places where you can look at them and use them to remember the happy experience instead of the negative one. Try to focus on remembering the pleasant experience that made you write down these words. Work on your breathing. This is very similar to meditation techniques that I have learned. But teaching ourselves not to engage in back and forth with those that want to bring us down is good for our health!

Learning to use positive reinforcement, positive affirmations and happy memories can actually help us improve our health. Lowering our stress level, learning not to allow others to take control of our emotions and actually impacting our health, is something well worth working on. It's easy and we can all do this by ourselves.

I also find music to be a good way to distract me from situations like this. I put my headphones on and start listening to my favorite music. Music that makes me happy and takes my mind off the negative distraction that is trying to take away our health!

Don't let others take control of your emotions, your time and your health! This is easier said than done, but not responding, not engaging in a back and forth argument with someone who is saying unkind things to you, could keep your IC better controlled, keep your blood pressure under control and, ultimately, actually save your life! 

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