Individuals living with chronic health conditions are often advised to adopt healthier lifestyles, including improving their nutrition. What is often disregarded by health professionals is that information-giving is often insufficient in supporting maintainable, substantial changes. Making long-term alterations to one's lifestyle is challenging regardless of one's circumstances. However, in the context of managing a chronic health condition one is faced with psychological barriers of a specific kind. Individuals with chronic health conditions may dislike being reminded of their physical difficulties, but adhering to a new 'healthier' schedule means that one remains vigilant of daily choices and is consequently more aware of the underlying health condition. This awareness may result in undesirable emotional states such as sadness or anxiety that one might find difficult to handle. In an effort to then avoid, deny, or numb oneself from the worries or reminders of the chronic illness, it may become increasingly difficult to maintain a healthier lifestyle. The presentation will introduce mindfulness techniques for identifying and better handling undesirable thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that may act as barriers to healthier lifestyles. It will also discuss ways for initiating and maintaining internally motivated lifestyle changes though the activation of one's personal values rather than acting on mandates of others such as family members or health professionals.
Disclosure of Interest None declared