Living with MS and Remaining Positive

Living with MS and Remaining Positive
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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.

Debi is a retired admissions and marketing director residing in Oregon. She is a mother of three grown children and has three grandchildren. She was diagnosed with PPMS in 2010. With her column, “Faith of the Mustard Seed,” she hopes to help and inspire others who are also dealing with MS.
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Debi is a retired admissions and marketing director residing in Oregon. She is a mother of three grown children and has three grandchildren. She was diagnosed with PPMS in 2010. With her column, “Faith of the Mustard Seed,” she hopes to help and inspire others who are also dealing with MS.
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16 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..

    • Phil says:

      Chad,

      I know microdosing psilocybin would also enhance my day. But, I can’t find any psilocybin. Any suggestions?

      • Isilhwen says:

        I do not microdose. If I am feeling well, that is, less fatigue and pain, I will not ingest mushrooms (psilocybin). If I know I am going to crash, or, I am already feeling poorly, I dose half a beginners dose, (one gram). This has a remarkable effect in relation to mood, however, I will also find increased energy, and ability to participate in life. This may be, of course, the effect of a positive outlook. My suspicion is that it is more, and extremely valuable.
        Keep in mind, possessing psilocybin mushrooms are a Federal offense. Proceed cautiously, and for the love of Mike, don’t tell anyone. mushroom spores are legal as they contain no psilocybin. They are easily obtained. There are many sites on the internet on where to proceed from there. Also, as a newbie, don’t just do it. Try to find a medical professional, or more likely, a skilled psychonaut to guide you. Be careful with people who claim to be shamans.
        I consider caring for my health a human rights issue, as is the ability to participate in life. For me, ingestion of psilocybin is also a religious issue.
        I do not believe we have honestly and thoroughly looked at multiple sclerosis treatment, outside of the biological domain. That has resulted in few answers and luke warm treatment.

  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

    • Mary says:

      Please Karen, please try to be positive. It actually changes the chemical composition of the brain and it’s infectious. This may sound corny but try to think good thoughts each morning before you get out of bed and smile at yourself in the mirror (even when you don’t feel like it) it releases endorphins and lifts the mood. I don’t know you but I’m sending you my love. I will pray for your comfort and strength.

  4. 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

  5. Mary Judge says:

    My thoughts on how to live well with MS.
    (in no particular order.)
    – find something to smile about everyday.
    – cherish your family and friends.
    – be patient with your body, it’s sick and doesn’t mean to let you down.
    – give yourself no more than 5 minutes a day to be angry, mad or sad.
    – dream and make plans but accept that they may need to be altered.
    – remember to say thank you. (being sick is not an excuse for bad manners.)
    – look at the stars with wonder.
    – mascara and a little lip stick is always a good idea.
    – breath deep.
    – go outside.
    – exercise and eat healthy but all in moderation.
    A slice of pizza every now and then won’t kill you.
    – read a good book.
    – say your prayers.
    – be kind to others.
    – never be afraid to say your sorrow or I love you.

  6. Mary says:

    Bernard… I am sorry,
    this disease can be difficult but you are inspirational to me in the way you meet your challenges. I wanted to ask have you ever tried intermittent fasting? I too have difficulties with mobility and pain.
    I have adopted this practice of fasting and have seen tremendous change. There is much published about the benefits of fasting on the immune system and overall health in general. If you want, maybe you can check it out. I hope it helps. I am on my way now to the art store to purchase paint and canvas. I am no artist but I will try your method of getting lost in concentration. I’ll let you know how it works. Thanks for your words.
    Mary

  7. Judith says:

    I have MS. I fall down sometimes. I haven’t had a relapse since a little over a year ago. I have difficulty climbing up in my van, stepping up on a sidewalk and putting on my pants and sandals. I spend a lot of time figuring out how to navigate through life but never thinking about the disease itself anymore. I think worrying less, stressing less and acting like it doesn’t exist has helped my state of mind immensely. I’m not in denial…I just feel that the more I worried about my disease, the more I stressed, and it led me to be sick all the time and hardly being able to lift my head off the pillow. Now I write a list and attack it every day. Keeping busy and having a project going on all the time keeps me healthy and the depression far away.

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