When it comes to disease prevention is always better than cure. However, we can’t deny the fact that diseases are here to stay. Our lifestyle choices, our genetic disposition or indeed the climate in which we find ourselves sometimes put us in a precarious position, and before we know it we have succumbed to one disease or another.

There are those diseases that silently creep upon us such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. And then there are those diseases or ailments that we see coming. However, you do not have to feel completely powerless once disease has manifested itself inside your mind and/or body. Based on what I have experienced as a nurse, life’s experience outside of work, people’s testimonies as well as drawing from my knowledge and understanding of science, I have compiled a list of basic measures that may help you cope, alleviate, reverse some conditions and in some cases ‘overcome’ or at least improve your overall condition.

1) Know what you’re dealing with
I believe if you are going to go into battle, you are at an added advantage if you study the ways of your enemy. How they operate, their fighting strategies, preferred methods of attack and their weaknesses. Know exactly what you are dealing with. Therefore, where diseases are concerned, you will do well to study as much as you can about your condition. Doing so is to empower as well as prepare yourself. Someone once told me that ‘knowledge is not power’ but only ‘potential power’. What that means is, knowledge will only take you so far. You will need to take it a step further if you are going into this battle. Which brings me to my next point;

2) Change your mindset
This is a big one. It appeals to your psychological disposition. Your self-esteem, your confidence among other things. No matter what you are facing, I reckon it pays off to stay positive. Believe that you will and can get better, and trust that you have enough courage and determination to fight the disease. I have heard many testimonies of long-term survivors after having been given very short prognosis by the doctor. It does not mean that doctors get it wrong, the way I look at it is that there is also a higher power determining how your life turns out and that power, I reckon, begins with positive thinking!

Negative emotions are bad for your health. Acts such as forgiving keep disease at bay? When you are holding on to a grudge your body reacts each time you see the person. Your heart races, your blood pressure rises as your body prepares for a fight. You put a strain on your brain, your gut and your heart, and this only leads to further deterioration in your condition, therefore, rid yourself of this kind of negativity.

3) Surround yourself with positive people
Your environment is as important as what which is embedded deep within you. Steer clear of negative people. Avoid them like the plague. Their negativity, skepticism and gloomy demeanor can only aid in your suffering and puts you in danger of disease taking residence inside of you for good. If they do not believe you can make it that is their problem, not yours. Your job is to fight.

You may be battling a disease but do not forget to live. Your life is not over yet. Laugh, play, dance and give yourself a break! Remember to let your loved ones, those who believe in you, care and look after you too!

4) Implement
There are some basic principles in maintaining good health. Nothing replaces good nutrition, fresh air, adequate rest, exercise, sunshine, drinking water, and so on. You cannot expect to beat any disease if you do not look after your physical self. Now is the time to implement all those health principles you learnt. They are relevant no matter what kind of disease you find yourself battling.

Also, it is crucial to do what your doctor tells you. If it is medication, you need to take, then follow the prescription and report any side effects immediately. When you feel discouraged appeal to your positive mindset and do not give up!

5) Have faith
The majority of us turn to that greater being when we are tried and tested, and for most it is our beliefs that keep us going. Pray and practice what you believe, for it is a crucial source of strength you need right now.

Fighting disease is no mean feat. It requires strength that comes both from within and without. When you are fighting disease, you are at your most vulnerable state. But, with the right mindset and support, I believe anything is possible. And, if in the end you succumb to your condition, at least you would have fought a good fight!

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Consult a doctor or other healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.