Coping with Chronic Illness & Anxiety

Photo Credit: demandaj via Compfight cc


In this week’s podcast Shann asks Ananga about her personal experience of living with chronic illness: how chronic illness can increase anxiety and coping skills for living as well as you can with the challenges of long-term illness.

One of the major factors of chronic illness that increases anxiety is an increased sense of uncertainty. We like things to be steady and dependable, it helps us feel secure. Any time we experience increased uncertainty it increases our anxiety, but with chronic illness it increases even more.

When living with chronic illness, every day can feel like an uncertainty. You don’t know how you’re going to feel, or what you’re going to be able to do, from one day to the next. If you are invited somewhere, you don’t know if you can go. Your calendar might be free, but your body might not be able to cope and that not knowing can really increase stress and anxiety.


Points covered in this podcast include

How Chronic Illness Increase Feelings of Social Pressure The social pressure and fear of expectations or letting others down has, for me, been one of the biggest challenges of living with chronic illness.

If you are invited somewhere, you don’t know if you can go. Your calendar might be free, but your body might not be able to cope and that not knowing can really increase stress and anxiety.


Listen to the full podcast here for tips on coping with chronic illness and anxiety:

If you can't see the podcast player, you can download this episode here... (right click and "save as")


Some sources of support

Books I am grateful for include:

How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers by Toni Bernhard

This incredibly brave and supportive lady is bed-ridden for most of her day and wrote this, and other books, propped up in her bed on her laptop.

She also blogs at Turning Straw Into Gold where she shares helpful posts like:

A Not-To-Do List For Caregivers of the Chronically Ill 

Six Common Misconceptions about the Chronically Ill 


Other books I've found truly helpful are:

Mindfulness for Health: A practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing and Living Well with Pain and Illness: The Mindful Way to Free Yourself from Suffering by Vidyamala Burch

We discussed the second title in a recent podcast: Can You Live Well with Anxiety?

Anxiety Slayer resources: Our album Emotional Peace: Guided Meditations for Challenging Times was created to help support the painful challenges of life like long-term illness, it features affirmations and guided relaxations to help your mind escape anxiety and find some hope and peace.

You can listen to samples and download on Amazon or the iTunes Music Store


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