Living with MS and Remaining Positive

Living with MS and Remaining Positive

Faith of the Mustard Seed

Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) could be compared to having an annoying house guest who never leaves. You can tolerate them at first, but soon your nerves and resilience wear thin.

You try to accept and adapt to the house guest, but you never give up on trying to get them to pack up and move on.

Eventually, there comes the realization that they are planning on an extended stay and you will need to adjust to that. You don’t know how long the house guest or the MS are going to be with you, so you are forced to find a way to be positive and co-exist.

MS is challenging by itself and remaining positive with this unpredictable disease can be overwhelming. So how are we supposed to do it?

Positivity is something I have to work on. For me, the start of each day is difficult. I awaken, I am sluggish, and my body is sore. I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I eventually convince myself that I will feel better after moving around and having a cup of tea. And I do feel better — the walking, doing morning chores, and the tea help me. The choice I make to be positive not only helps my sore body, but it also encourages me to have a more positive outlook on my day.

I will admit my self-talk does not always promote positivity. Sometimes, I can tell myself it is better to rest than to exercise, or that it would be more comfortable to stay at home, rather than to go out. I try to be aware of those nagging voices and to counter the negative with a positive.

Discuss the latest research in the MS News Today forums!

I recently read an article on the Mayo Clinic’s website entitled: “Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress.” The piece offers ideas on managing your self-talk to reduce stress and promote positive thinking. In any situation, concentrating on the best outcome, instead of the worst, can set you on a more positive path.

The article encourages you to become aware of your negative thoughts and their triggers. After you work on changing your thoughts, monitor them daily to keep them positive. The article further recommends surrounding yourself with humor, people you enjoy being with, engaging in a healthy lifestyle, and practicing positive self-talk daily.

The “health benefits” possibly gained by positive thinking include extending your lifespan, easing depression and bouts of distress, improving the immune system to fight off colds, and better overall health and coping skills, according to the piece.

By practicing positive self-talk and improving your overall outlook, you can improve your life while living with MS.

How do you stay upbeat? Discuss this in the MS News Today forums.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

10 comments

  1. Chad Levesque says:

    I microdose psilocybin daily and it really generally enhances t’s my well being throughout the day.quite helpful in keeping out the negative thoughts that Re always tight at the door..

  2. Alison says:

    I’m newly diagnosed (April this year) and struggling with positivity. My older sister also had MS and died 2 years ago following complications of a chest infection. I know this unpredictable disease affects people in different ways but, unfortunately, I cannot but help re-live my sister’s experiences in my mind. Hopefully time will improve my thought process.

    • Debi Wilson says:

      I’m very sorry to hear about your sister and also, your diagnosis. I know that had to be a devastating and traumatic time for you and your sister!
      The best way to stay positive,is to concentrate on the best possible outcome for yourself. Keep your mind focused on the good in your life and never give up hope that a cure for MS may be right around the corner. You are right this disease affects everyone differently, no two people are the same.
      You are in my prayers Alison.
      Debi

  3. Karen says:

    I find it very difficult to find any positivity in just existing! You must be in the early stages of MS. The statistics say 85% of us who start out with RRMS will progress to SPMS. There is nothing positive in SPMS. Constant pain, continuous losses is abilities and having your soul drained from you are horrible.

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Hi Karen,
      I was diagnosed with primary Progressive MS in 2010, and I experienced many symptoms years prior. So I totally understand what you are saying about the pain and all the disease brings! I choose to be positive , because the alternative is living down and depressed. I don’t want to live that way, so I really work on being positive. Best to you, Debi

  4. Bernard Rattiner says:

    I was diagnosed with SPMS about 8 or 9 years ago. It effects my right side, leg and hand mainly. I am in quite a bit of pain, mostly in the mornings. I am an artist primarily a painter and printmaker. I have been training my opposite hand to do much of my work. I have a travel scooter to use when I have trouble walking long distances. I use a Bioness to help walk with my foot drop. I added hand controls to my car so I can safely drive. I also use two 5 foot walking/hiking sticks to get around and have also gone on medical Marajuana to ease my aching body. I use pills of THC before bed, THC vape when needed but have found that a CBD vape eliminates pain almost immediately. Anyway, I have also found that when I do my artwork and am in extreme and deep concentration, I feel no aches and pain at all so I work as much as I possibly can. I do large oil paintings and large complex printmaking pieces. I also find friends and family interactions as well as games and chess extremely helpful distractions as well. It seems to be getting harder each day no matter what I do. Going to Panama in a month to try stem cell treatments. Hope that helps. It’s extremely hard to be positive when you are struggling to climb a step or even lift your leg with your hands to get into a car or even put your pants on. I try but sometimes I find it difficult to keep positive.

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Hi Bernard,
      I am so impressed with you!
      You are living a productive life through challenges and making the needed adaptions!
      I totally understand about how hard it is to stay positive. I have many bad days, but I always try to stay away from depression, by switching my thought process. Once you allow yourself to dwell in the negatives of life, it’s hard to get out. My faith in God helps me to stay strong.
      Best to you, Debi

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