Having lived with Lupus for over 5 years, I know how hard it is to feel inspired when every bone, muscle, ligament, fiber and molecule of your body may be in shock and pain. However, I have found ways to reclaim the joy I lost along the way.

The following simple tools helped me to regain a sense of hope and enabled me to start focusing on the more positive things in my life and those things I still wanted to move towards achieving in my life, no matter what lupus was making me feel like.

Staying in an Attitude of Gratitude: Write down a list of things you are grateful for every morning on waking and every evening before you go to bed. This will soon become a habit and you may find yourself creating a more positive environment around you.

Laughter is the Best Medicine: Try to keep some funny TV shows recorded or some funny DVDs on hand so you can access them whenever you are feeling down such as the following (it won’t take long to raise your spirits since hormones that make us feel good are released when you laugh):

Vision Board: A vision board is simply a place where you can post images or sayings or even just words that make you feel happy, motivated and empowered. These can be fun to create and can be quite inspiring to have a constant reminder of those things you want to work towards achieving in your life. I used to cut out pictures and words out of magazines, paste them on a large foam mount board and keep it beside my bed where I could see it every day. You can also create one on your computer like I have shown here:

Vision Board Small

In this vision board I have images that make me laugh, images that make me feel like challenging myself, those that remind me how important gratitude is and those that remind me to keep a focus on my spiritual self as well as my physical and emotional self to keep a sense of balance.

If you would like to know more about the tools that helped me feel joyful, details can be found in my book, Lupus My Constant Companion and Greatest Inspiration in which I have shared my entire 5 year journey from the challenges of being diagnosed, the initial turbulent months, and everything I learned by keeping various personal journals, every single blood test, nutritional assessment, and a whole host of other information, in order to understand how lupus is triggered and how to manage my life in ways that enabled me to feel more energetic, balanced and joyful than I ever experienced before my diagnosis.