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The Spiritual Connection Between Exercise And Meditation To Mitigate Chronic Illness

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by Ainsley Lawrence,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder

Living with a chronic illness can be extremely frustrating. You just want your symptoms to go away but nothing seems to alleviate your pain.

You should always abide by your doctor’s advice when navigating treatment options. However, living a spiritually engaged life with plenty of exercise and mindfulness may help you reframe your chronic illness and even alleviate some of the symptoms you live with every single day.


There is no one-size-fits-all solution to chronic illness management, and you should always consult your doctor before starting a new treatment regime. However, many doctors recommend holistic approaches to help mitigate chronic illness in addition to any modern treatments you receive.

Gentle forms of exercise, like yoga and walking, can help mitigate some forms of chronic illness. Internal medicine specialist, Dr. Lakshmi Menezes, MD, recommends that patients should try a “combination of practices” to help deal with “pain, stress and other symptoms.” A yoga practice that gets you moving in ways that work for you can be a great addition to your current regime of pain management.

Of course, not all yoga practices will be appropriate for you. You may even find yoga frustrating at first as you discover the limits of your body. Instead of comparing yourself to others, set goals for your yoga practice that are relevant to you and your own spiritual journey.

Over time, regularly practicing gentle yoga can have a positive effect on other areas of your health. Exercise can improve cognitive health, slow down the effects of aging, and lower your stress levels. This will make it easier to focus on meditation routines that can bolster your spiritual practice.

Meditation Routines

There are thousands of ways to meditate. Everything from Reiki awareness practices to guided-walking mindfulness programs can help you find a meditative state that promotes pain management.

If you find that you are easily overwhelmed by the options available to you, start with gratitude practice. Simply think of three things that you’re grateful for, and explore the way they make you feel. Remember to smile when completing gratitude meditation. Smiling is good for you because it reduces stress by releasing dopamine and serotonin. When you allow yourself to grin from ear to ear, you’ll feel better automatically.

Meditation practices that end in a smile may also improve your immune system and promote spiritual growth. Folks who smile often may produce more antibodies and immune cells. Smiling around other people also draws you closer to them, as other people will think more positively if they see you with a smile on your face.

Spirituality and Physical Space

Exercise and meditation can help you rediscover your spiritual side. Moving your body and turning your thoughts inward can help mitigate stress and make it easier to think clearly.

You can bolster your chronic illness management by trying a different approach to spirituality. For example, most people think of Feng Shui as a form of interior design. In reality, the same principles can be used to promote your physical health and well-being.

Some practitioners of Feng Shui believe that the health of your home is connected to your physical health. Thus, if you are experiencing hearing problems, a Feng Shui expert might recommend lubricating squeaky hinges and stuck doors around your house.

Even if you don’t find your symptoms improve by completing a Feng Shui makeover, you can still benefit spiritually from the time spent considering how your physical environment impacts your physical and mental wellness. An organized home that caters to your physical needs can greatly improve mobility and relaxation. A home designed mindfully with decor that you love can improve your mood. All of these factors can set you up for success when living with a chronic illness.


Living a healthy, spiritually fulfilled life can help reduce your stress and may bring down symptoms associated with inflammation. You can get started with a gentle yoga practice that suits your needs and promotes introspection. Over time, this practice can help you smile more often and feel the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Designing your home life around your preferences and physical needs will help you manage chronic illness.

About the Author: Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with an interest in balanced living through education and technology. She loves travelling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.

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