Toni Bernhard is an author of three amazing books, that I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone struggling with a Chronic Illness.

Toni was a law professor at the University of California – Davis for 22 years, before she became ill during a trip and never recovered. She was later diagnosed with the illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or ME/CFS and was no longer able to work. Her illness was so severe that she was nearly bedridden and housebound since she became ill.

Through this change her life, she initially struggled to accept and cope with the limitations of her chronic illness. As a practicing Buddhist, she applied what she had learned about life, suffering, and peace to help her cope.

In How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide, she helps the reader understand how to manage mental suffering. As I said, I can not recommend her books enough and would consider her books to be the number one book(s) you must read if you have a chronic illness.

But if you just love to take the highlights and apply them to your life, here are the 11 top quotes from How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide.

Page Contents

11 Quotes From “How To Live Well With Chronic Pain And Illness” by Toni Bernhard

1. “I practice equanimity by recognizing that even though it can feel as if I’m suffering because of another person’s behavior, the true source of that suffering is my own wanting mind.” – Toni Bernhard

Equanimity is defined as having a calm mind during especially difficult situations. Sometimes people don’t always understand and put 100% effort we would want them to into understanding our illness and how we feel. What creates greater suffering is the wanting of this. To let go of suffering, you must to detach from the outcome of other’s behaviors.

2. “Do not spend your precious energy worrying about how others view your medical condition.” – Toni Bernhard

You can not control what other’s behaviors are. If their view does not align with your own, do not allow that energy to turn into anger.

3. “I felt better mentally and physically when I kept my attention on what was going on right no in my life, instead of spending my time lost in fantasies about what other people might be thinking about me.” – Toni Bernhard

Fantasies and complaining can be a true black hole. Pay attention to the things that go well in life and have a daily gratitude practice.

4. “Do not treat discouraging and disheartening thoughts or emotions as permanent fixtures of your mind.” – Toni Bernhard

Emotions are always changing. You will have bad and good days. Often your mindset on bad days will encourage doubt and despair. Understand that this too shall pass.

5. “Do not be angry when people in your life don’t respond as you’d like. It took a while, but I’ve finally learned that feeling angry toward people who don’t act the way I want them to serves no constructive purpose.” – Toni Bernhard

Unfortunately, not everybody will understand what you are going through. It is hard for some people to put themselves in other people’s shoes. The best thing to do for yourself is take care of your well being and don’t let their response weigh too much on your heart.

6. “Don’t get hooked into believing you always have to “think positively”.” – Toni Bernhard

It is great to have a positive mindset, but you don’t need to get stuck into the idea that that is how you need to be all the time. It is okay to be realistic and acknowledge the tough times. Going through bad moments does not make you weak.

7. “If my health were restored, my life would still have its share of problems.” – Toni Bernhard

Learn to take life from where you are. Cultivate positive emotions and understand that there is good and bad in all kinds of life situations.

8. Look for happiness and content in your life as is. – Toni Bernhard

Start with where you are. You are here! Find love and appreciate for all that you have and are in this moment.

9. “If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. IF you let go completely, you will know complete peace and freedom. You struggles with the world will have come to and end.” – Toni Bernhard

Learn the art of letting go and this is where you will find complete peace.

10. “[Sometimes] you will come face to face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of control and hopeless. No problem.” – Mindfulness in plain English – Bhante Gunaratana

  1. you are not alone in this madness
  2. Learn to be patient with your crazy mind – let it be. Make friends with the monster.

11. “Compassion for others tends to ease your own emotional pain because it takes you out of your self focused thinking.”

Take yourself outside of just thinking about what is going on with you. Help a friend or family member. Turn outward.

Did you find “11 Quotes From “How To Live Well With Chronic Pain And Illness” by Toni Bernhard” helpful? Leave your thoughts below!

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  1. Chocoviv September 22, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Great reminders!


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