It’s probably blatantly obvious that I have a positive attitude - so much so that I even annoy myself sometimes! However, that’s how I get through and cope with life these days. I haven’t always been like this but now, I feel like I have to be like this. I have no other choice but to be positive.
Like taking my DMT, exercising, and going to my neurologist every six months, keeping a positive attitude is part of my arsenal in this fight against multiple sclerosis. It is one of the tools that I have found help me to survive living with MS on a daily basis.
I feel like living with MS is hard enough that I don’t need to compound it by being negative. To me, being negative is only going to zap my energy even further and take more out of me. As we all know, maintaining and conserving energy is key in living with multiple sclerosis. We need every last bit of energy to get though our days and we can’t afford to waste any of it.
Believe me, I still have those days when I struggle. Are my moods affecting how I’m feeling physically or the other way around? I know I can allow myself a day or two but then it becomes a mind over matter kind of thing for me. I have to fight to get back onto a more positive keel mentally, or else I’ll just feel lousy all around - mentally as well as physically. It can be a real fight but I need to choose to feel good and make an effort to change my perspective, or else I will start to feel my body reacting to my mindset. I think I feel even worse physically when I give in to the negative feelings. I'm human. I'm allowed to feel that way but I also know that ultimately, it is not good for me.
It extends to the point where I can look back and see that when things were negative in my life, my health suffered. I mean, it is kind of an obvious, no-brainer statement. We know that stress is not good for us and can negatively impact our health.
For example, on a much larger scale and perhaps this warrants its own blog post about toxic relationships, my first marriage didn’t work. In the end, we both wanted different things and I’m not sure he knew how to handle the multiple sclerosis part of the agreement. I know that if I stayed in that marriage, my health would not be what it is today. The stress and the lack of support I felt only made me feel worse and I suffered more flares during that time. Once out of that relationship, my attitude improved and in turn, so did my overall health. Obviously, I was so negative throughout that time that getting rid of that toxicity improved my life greatly.
I feel like if I don’t maintain a positive attitude, then things will snowball and crumble around me. By being relatively positive, it feels like I’m attracting more positivity into my life, and I find that I am better able to handle any physical issues I’m experiencing.
I often wonder that if my health declined dramatically, would I be able to continue with this positive attitude? Or...if I maintain this positive attitude, will my body follow suit and will declining health be kept at bay? It’s kind of a ‘which came first - the chicken or the egg?’ scenario. I would like to think that if my health did decline and my disability worsened, then my positive attitude would carry me through. However, I just don’t know. Nobody knows until we are faced with it. Until then, however, I’m going to do what works for me and continue to search for that silver lining and retain hope. For now, it’s one of the few things I can do and that I feel like I have some sort of power over.
I’m hoping to spread my positive attitude through these blog posts. Trying to stay as positive as possible works for me and I hope that it is contagious. I know that some days are easier than others but I recommend simply starting by trying to smile more. Smiling has a wonderfully beneficial effect on the brain, and I guarantee that it will make you feel better inside and out!
“It is almost impossible to smile on the outside without feeling better on the inside.”
Keep your chins up and stay as positive as possible! I'm going to continue to try my best to just keep smiling!