5 stages of healing- How to master your healing process

Healing is a journey, not a destination. It's a beautiful, empowering path filled with twists, turns, and moments of pure sunshine. But let's be honest, there are also those inevitable rainy days when you slip and slide a bit.

If you're reading this blog, you are likely already on a healing journey or contemplating one. The realm I work in is one that supports people as they heal their bodies. And I have come to recognize that the steps one must take are important for success!

The good news? There's a handy model called the "Transtheoretical Model of Change" , or more simply, the 5 Stages of Change, that perfectly captures the emotional rollercoaster of adopting (and sticking to!) a healing protocol. I like to share with my clients how  each stage applies to your healing journey:

1. Precontemplation: The "Nah, I'm Good" Phase

Maybe you haven't quite connected the dots between your current lifestyle and your health. Perhaps that doctor's appointment with the not-so-great test result feels like an overreaction. It's okay! Denial is a common first step. But even a tiny seed of curiosity about feeling better can be the spark for change.

*Troubleshooting this phase can involve self exploration and examining your belief systems. 

2. Contemplation: Weighing the Pros and Cons

This is where things get interesting! You start asking friends and family who've embarked on their own health journeys for advice. You might even be scribbling down a pros and cons list about embracing a new way of eating and moving. This "information gathering" phase is crucial.

*Troubleshooting this phase involves weighing  the pros and cons of making a change to your health or lifestyle. 

3. Preparation: Gearing Up for Change

Now you're ready to take action! You're researching heart-healthy meal plans, checking out different exercise programs, and maybe even gathering some inspirational cookbooks. This "planning and preparation" stage sets the foundation for your success. This is the time to order your supplements, shop for new healthier versions of the foods that will nourish you and buy the walking shoes. What differentiates this phase from contemplation is ACTION. So lump these new actions in with something you already do daily! 

*Troubleshooting this phase can involve identifying your forms of support(social etc) to determine that you have a support system in place to make necessary changes. 

4. Action: Taking the Leap!

This is where the rubber meets the road! You've swapped out those processed snacks for vibrant veggies, you're lacing up your sneakers for a daily workout and your starting your supplements and tracking your progress. It's exciting, challenging, and oh-so-rewarding! Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Be kind to yourself as you navigate this new routine.

*Action phase is recommended for 3-6 months for ideal support. 

5. Maintenance: Building Your Radiant Reality

As healthy habits become second nature, you might consider joining a support group to stay motivated and share experiences. This is the "maintenance" stage, where you solidify your new lifestyle. Remember, it's okay to have a slip-up here and there. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on track!

*Reinforcement of internal rewards is helpful during this phase.

The All-Important Bonus Stage: There's No Such Thing as "Starting Over"

Here's the beautiful secret: There's no "starting over" in healing. Every experience, every slip-up, is a valuable lesson that helps you refine your approach. Think of it like this: You wouldn't expect to climb Mount Everest in a single, perfect ascent. You might take a detour, encounter some bad weather, but ultimately, you keep moving towards the summit. If you are in a bonus stage,  is the time to recreate "cues" that will help you reestablish a healthier rhythm. This includes, moving your supplements to your bedside table to take before sleep or pulling out the food mood poop journal to start tracking your routine again. It is helpful to state when you will do things and write it down with a time and date to create a more effective routine. 

So, embrace the stages of change. Celebrate your victories, big and small.

I work is to support clients every step of the way on their journey to radiant health so feel free to reach out with questions.

Wishing you a radiant reality!