Malaise of Life

Over the past year or so during my cancer treatment, I often experienced symptoms of malaise. I just felt off. I had no energy or interest in doing anything. My appetite was poor and I sometimes experienced vague feelings of discomfort. My energy was low and my usual desire to be active and engaged in life was absent.

Malaise is a word the describes the nondescript. Without knowing exactly what is awry, it doesn’t feel right and it doesn’t feel healthy.

As I observed myself in this periodic state of malaise I began to think how this term can also describe how one may feel in their life, without a medical diagnosis to blame.

Have you ever felt off, or just not up to your usual level of enthusiasm, optimism or adventure for life? Have you ever noticed that your appetite for the many delights you normally enjoy was non-existent? Have you ever noticed your physical self resist getting up off the couch to exercise, as though the energy for it had to begin somewhere else in your brain and that part was non-functioning? Have you ever recognized that your attitude about life was unhealthy yet you still felt as if you had no power to change it?

The good news about the malaise of life is that its temporary and that you don’t have to wait for a virus to pass or to get beyond the side-effects of chemo before you can feel vibrantly healthy and alive again. You can create the shift from blah to joy, by shifting your thoughts one by one to a more positive state of mind. A fast track to recovery from the malaise of life is to practice gratitude. Remembering to be grateful for all, because all life experiences will ultimately serve you. Exchange helpless feelings for hopeful ones. 

As with medical maladies, there are prophylactic approaches that can be taken to lower the chances of ever becoming ill. This is true with the non-physical maladies such as malaise of life, as well. 

Be careful what you think about, remembering positive thoughts are healthy and negative thoughts are not. Love yourself, unconditionally, all of the time. Forgive yourself and others whenever an opportunity arises. Seek out loving, joyful experiences and live them often. Move your body even when you don’t feel like it. Seek the company of those that typically bring out your best. Find something or someone that will make you laugh.

Photo by Lukas on

This treatment plan can be effective anytime…..before or after symptoms appear…..Be consistent and you will always be vibrantly healthy, even when a diagnosis says otherwise. 

1 Comment »

  1. Gratitude. I’ve discovered and embraced it as an antidote to my very human maladies of malaise, its 1st cousin “pity pot sitting,” and even anger. It’s my “go to” when I’ve found myself sliding toward or having slid into any of the trio above.

    Good post, Kate!


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