How Do You Manage To Stay Positive?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Another post here reminded us that it is better to find things to be positive about than to rant and rave. I know we all go through some pretty tough times and it is often cathartic to vent, but we need some creative ways to stay positive on a day-to-day basis.

    I posted this before, but I am repeating it as I think it's important:

    I have posted here before on staying positive as it will help in the healing process. One cannot separate the mind, body, and spirit. I just read an article in our local newspaper which supports my theory and I wanted to share this woman's technique with you as I think you will like it.

    This woman had cancer and was told she had six months to live; that was six years ago. The article did not say whether her cancer is in remission, but here's what she had to say, "Doctors told me I had six months--but my body has never known that. If I thought that was my reality, I wouldn't be here today."

    She calls her positive therapy, Treasure Mapping. It is using images, words, and tokens important to one's life, including photos, inspirational poems, and magazine cutouts, and then pasting them on a poster and looking at them every day. It reminds me of scrapbooking.

    One can take photos of family and pets; ticket stubs; programs from sporting events, the opera, the theater, etc.; dried flowers, herbs, leaves; or just about anything which evokes pleasure and pleasant memories. You can use posterboard, a bulletin board, or one of those padded boards with the elastic crisscross straps to display your own Treasure Map. This is not only a very healing thing to have around, but it provides an outlet for one's creativity.

    I have a parson's table in my little office on the wall to the left of the computer armoire. It contains some of my favorite photos of our family's pets, a few favorite knic knacks, and a tabletop fountain with a ball on top which spins on the top of the waterspill. I can add candles if I want. One of my favorite things is a crystal ball with air bubbles in it. My Mother gave it to me for my birthday a few years back. This little space gives me pleasure every day when I come in to use the computer. Some people arrange a space for meditation with calming artifacts surrounding them. I have a big chair in the living room which looks out on the pond in the back. It is where I choose to meditate.

    I have always gone to great effort to make my home a haven from the world outside. It is a calming place which gives me pleasure every day. It is bright and sunny and filled with beloved things. I do my best to keep it clean and orderly.

    The point is that there are all kinds of things we can do to improve the aura of our space and I found this woman's technique delightful. She is teaching classes on it to help others to bring more optimism into their lives. Bless her.

    Love, Mikie
  2. EZBRUZR

    EZBRUZR New Member

    Hello!
    Mikie, Once again you have a great attitude,causing one to reflect. So many people *say* They will start again Monday.I hope that those on that mission today and through the week,heed your post and help Themselves. Optimism is under rated.I will carry your thoughts,as well as cancer patients' in your story .I believe if I carry optimism Long Enough, Things WILL HAVE TO BE GOOD!!! Negativity only enjoys the comapny of misery. THanks Mikie for yey another Great Monday Mornig Start,You Kick Butt(and bad thoughts!!) Peace & Prayers,lisa[This Message was Edited on 08/11/2003]
  3. Iggy_RN

    Iggy_RN New Member

    You just summed it all up for me, life is short, enjoy it and make the best of it, and we certainly can feed and nurture ourselves w/positivity or taint ourselves w/the bull**** of this world, etc... I am going thru this family hurt thing, but your post has just reminded me to take control over my own thoughts, not for the negativity in life to control my self!!! Thank you for making my day an outlook quite a bit better, BLessings, Iggy
  4. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    You do rock, Mikie!!!

    Maybe this is oversimplifying. Staying positive is a decision. Period. (Hard one BUT albeeit, a decision)

    Examples:
    For numerous reasons, I am not fond of my job right now, health issues being a PART of that. I start work at 6:00 am, alarm goes off at 4:45. As you all know getting out of bed is difficult for us. So difficult I could grumble all the way to work in a pity state. But on the drive in, I LOOK for beauty or other "gifts", and one morning was blown away by the beautiful sunrise, I pulled over to a safe area and savored this incredible site for a few minutes and was euphoric (well-almost) on arriving to work. Wanting to share how others had felt witnessing the same sky, I inquired and was amazed that NO ONE had seen it. (Same roads). That sky was no little thing, but it is the "little" things I look for that now give me the most pleasure - like the tiny flower that has managed to bloom i in the tiniest of cracks in the patio that I did not pull when cleaning the bricks. FM certainly has slowed me down, without it, I'd be just too busy to notice anything. like I had been "in my previous life." So right now, I do no dwell on mourning what I have lost, but give thanks I am able to witness the little things.

    This approach was a decision on my part. Fondly, June

    PS, yes we need to mourn (and vent), but to allow it to fester is detrimental.

  5. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    Before I was dx'd with CFS, FM, and NMH, when I was feeling pretty bad and could do only a few things each day, a dear friend called me on a daily basis, just to check in.

    She's really a pro at this because she regularly calls at least ten people who have MS and checks in and lends support to them. Despite the fact that she is bedridden and has only the partial use of one arm, she is one of the most upbeat people I know.

    During our conversations, when I would begin to complain about how little I was able to do, she would respond by saying, "Yes, but you still can...." and follow that with whatever I had been able to do.

    She really taught me to look for the things I can still do, rather than focus on what I am no longer able to do.

    Another thing I have found helpful is adapting the way I do things, so instead of sitting at home alone I can go out, but I may need to take my scooter, so I can "hike" with friends on a paved path.

    I have also focused on looking at any progress I make in the terms of taking baby steps, rather than trying to do something huge. I may break it down into little parts, which don't seem so overwhelming.

    Barbara
  6. lucky

    lucky New Member

    and I believe very much that with our limitations we have a new opportunity to look for other things which we can enjoy and staying positive. Sometimes it brings out little talents we were not aware of and we never had time for. A nice photo we shoot and which turns out nice, can bring a lot of joy. I never was into photography and have taken many great pictures in the past years, some of them are hanging on my walls (still cannot believe I took them, because I never was interested in photography).
    Your message is a great input and I feel that because of relearning our priorities in life, we can stay positive and optimistic.
    Have a great day, Lucky


    [This Message was Edited on 08/11/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/11/2003]
  7. tedebear

    tedebear New Member

    It could be worse. We could be bedridden 'til we are 100.
    We could be dead any moment. We could be alone. (But not with all the good people on this board).
    We take too many little things for granted in our lives. We need more to focus on what we do that our greatest accomplishments of the day are. We never know if we will be here tomorrow, so relish every moment as if it were your last.
    Despite pain, illness, daily hurdles...you have life. God is good to us no matter what you think.
    Keep the faith, keep plugging but enjoy every moment.
    Great reminder Mikie.
    Soft teddy hugs to all.
  8. Echo2

    Echo2 New Member

    I was watching the Wisdom channel (another good resource at times) and there was a lady on who had some good advice for when you are feeling down and negative - and let's face it, even the best of us have those days. Anyway, what she said was to find 5 things each day to be grateful for and write them down in a journal. She suggested the usual stuff as well, but this one idea stuck with me. Sometimes when the pain is so bad and everyone around you seems to be moving freely, it is hard to "get out of yourself" and take a wider view. Finding the 5 things is simple the first few days, but then you really have to start to think. I like this process because just trying to force cheerfulness isn't always possible. Gratitude is, however, and it makes the cheer come faster. My latest thrill is Mars - it will be just huge in another week, and I am already watching it...nature is just the best gift, isn't it?
    Echo
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It seems that most of us just focus on the little day-to-day pleasures in our lives. This is good because it means we are living in the present and not stewing over the past or worrying about the future. We can do nothing about anything but the present anyway.

    Still would love some more input and creative ideas for staying positive.

    Love, Mikie
  10. lassiecass

    lassiecass New Member

    Hi Mikie,
    It is a little harder to stay positive some days but I try to read the comics everyday before work and there is always something funny in them that I can relate to. I cut comics out and hang them on the frig and read them every chance I get. I love to laugh and a sense of humour really helps in the worst of times. Hang in there everybody and remember that just waking up and still being here is something to smile about.
    Soft Hugs,
    Sandy ( Cass)
  11. EZBRUZR

    EZBRUZR New Member

    I started here earlier.Up from Long Nap,it is just so Refreashingly Positve & so true(we need 2 b like that),had ta start over on A Good Note. Thanks Mikie :).
    peacd,lisa
  12. kmelodyg

    kmelodyg New Member

    Mikie,

    I just want to thank you for your everyday love and support that you give. You are so important to all of us. You must feel very good in your spirit for all that you give to us everyday. You really are an angel!!

    I have found since I have taken on all of the many projects that I am working on to make a difference, it has helped me to remain positive. I receive at least 10 e-mails a day from my wonderful e-mail friends, that tell me that I am such a good person for all that I am doing to help all of us. I feel better about myself now, than I ever have in my entire life.

    I think if everyone could just take a little time out to do something to make a difference in a person/people's lives, it would help them to remain positive. It's kind of like taking on volunteer work!! We cannot physically get out there in the world to do things, but we can do things right from home!! Most of us are not even working anyways, right?

    Find someone on thi sboard who you would like to become e-mail buddies with. Writing to others so that you can be their friend that they can talk to, can make a HUGE difference!! I know that I have to lean on many of my e-mail friends from time to time. ANd it really does make me feel better and loved!!

    Spending the time to concentrate on something or someone, can keep you from concentrating too much on yourself and your woes. I know that it has changed my life completely. We can all do it. It just takes a little time, effort, and love.

    All my love,
    Kathryn
  13. fullarmor

    fullarmor New Member

    I have a few things that make me feel good:
    1.Good music: i put on my favorite music and dance around. It feels so freeing and i can just let go.
    2.Playing with my guinea pig: just a few minutes a day with her makes me smile and all the tension just gets released.
    3.Arts and crafts: when i'm feeling down I go to the craft store and pick out a new craft, maybe a new pattern to crochet or a wood item to paint. I like how i get totally involved in the project and don't think about the pain for some time. And then i'm so proud when i'm done.
    Just my little tips on staying happy and positive!
  14. Sunshyne1027

    Sunshyne1027 New Member

    Hey Mikie.. I went through a rough time with it, thought about posting about it and stopped when seeing alot of others going through it too.

    What a great idea on making your home a haven from the outside world. The kids are going back to school soon, and I plan on using the time when they are away doing just that. We moved into our place 4-5 months ago. Havn't really felt like we "moved" in. It don't have part of all of us in here yet. Making some plans, writing down on paper ideas. Got paint samples of colors I want to use in different rooms. Like my bedroom, useing blues, teals, light purples. Posters on the wall that are so peaceful. The idea of making a collage to look at everyday, a great idea!

    Your post was so uplifiting and insprirational to me!

    Thanks!
  15. wle

    wle New Member

    Hi Mikie, What wonderful advice. I am fairly new to the board - just been here a couple of weeks. It has helped me so much reading the posts from others - such great advice from so many different sources. Like the woman in your article - I also take great pride in making my home comfortable. There is no other place in the world I would rather be than my home. We have friends that go on vacation to just "get away". I always do my best relaxing at home and have never felt the need to "just get away".
    I have received many compliments from family and friends on the "homeness" feeling they have when they visit. While not as clean as it once was - just don't have the energy and get up and go I once had, I still feel like my home is my haven.
    It is so hard to stay positive when you feel so rotten all of the time. That is why I always try to find at LEAST one thing I am thankful for each day. After reading your post I am thinking that when I decorate the spare rm in our home that I am going to include a reading corner in it just for me. I can see it already in my minds eye...............WLE
  16. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    Mikie, that is truly an inspirational story and I think everyone here has contributed some really good ideas and solutions for staying positive. I try to imagine a big filter that screens out everything negative in my life. I filter out depressing and negative TV shows, and I limit the amount of TV news I watch, because I find that the news can be so depressing. I watch Nickeleodeon or TVLand and laugh at the old shows I enjoyed as a child. I also created a "Fun File" where I clip and store cartoons, jokes, or funny things that make me laugh and when I have a down day I can take out my fun file and have a few chuckles. I try to bring things of beauty into my home, even if it is just a single flower from my garden. I play with my two dogs; they are always "up" and they lift my spirits. Every day I have a goal that I will (1) say at least one positive thing about someone and (2) do something positive for somebody. This gets me out of thinking about myself and my pains. Hugs and Best Wishes to All,
    Michelle
  17. Heidi

    Heidi New Member

    Don't post often because life is complex. My husband just recieved a heart transplant after a 15 month wait. My FM/CFS has developed to the point where I can't work. Our 2 young adult children have FMS/CFS. So the question of attiutude was vital not only to my health but the attiude in our home when the stress threatend to overwhelm us.

    Having a faith in God that allows me to pray and know that He is in the sitution with me helped so much. Faith is something that grows when invited to be a part of your life.

    I read a newly published book (with no religious point of view) called: What happy people know -Baker&stratchern (unsure of second author). His main point which really helped me...that happiness comes when we choose an attitude of appreciation for what we do have or what is left. Like the old Sunday School song puts it...Count Your Blessings.

    Right now, with my husband doing well..having more stamina than I and able to take over many household tasks again...it is easy to count my blessings. But there were many dark hours where I had to remind myself of what we did have together and as a familly. We don't have a well secured financial future or even the assurance of easy days ahead BUT....I won't bore you with my list!

    Tonight my pain level is high...a significant weather front going through but fingering my mental list in the back of my mind helps me to breathe deeply while i wait it out!

    Heidi




    [This Message was Edited on 08/12/2003]
  18. mycatprint

    mycatprint New Member

    Mikie, this is a great suggestion.

    A couple of weeks ago I posted a feel good FMS story on this site and YOU MOVED IT to the chit chat board because you decided it wasn't pertinent.

    I am angry and hurt.

    Also, I want to know the difference between your post and mine so I can determine which feel good posts are appropriate for future reference.

    I told someone the other day that I am not in the habit of "flaming" anyone. I guess I was wrong about myself, because I feel as if I am "flaming" you, and that wasn't my original intention. I really would like some direction on appropriate "feel good" content because it hurts so much to be rejected.

    Before posting this, I looked in your bio to see if I could find an email address so this wouldn't be seen by everyone, but did not find one.

    Soooo, everybody, I hope you forgive my outburst, here.... :)

    I guess its flaming hugs from mycatprint tonight
  19. jka

    jka New Member

    i have lupus-16 yr- and fibro-7 yrs.when first diagnosed with lupus -no one knew much about the illness.i studied,read and researched.i learned more about my illness then my doc knew.i had deciced from day 1 that I was going to run my life-not my illness.according to my rhumy- i really shouldn't be here.he's amazed at what i accomplised.it was through postive thinking and doing everything i could to make myself better that did it.my doc was so proud when i was able to go back to work part time.he never thought he would see that day.my illness will always remain active-but i will always remain in control!
    kathy
  20. Takesha

    Takesha New Member

    One of the "new" things I do to stay positive is spend time on the Worship Board. It makes me feel good to reach out to othres with an encouraging word, or prayer. I have always believed that you "reap what you sow" or "what goes around comes around". When I take a moment to help someone else, it brings me out of myself, and pulls me up to. With so many things that I can't do...this is one I can, and I feel great. Thanks

    Takesha