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Duff on framing positive attitude

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  • Duff on framing positive attitude

    I am came across this short older clip on Karen Duffy "Duff" of MTV fame explaining how she deals with chronic illness. She rejects the battle metophors and explains how she got a health care team working with her. I like that she took control of how the illness will be present in her life. I don't know if i can rid my speech of battle metaphors, or if it would help me cope better. I can't say I love my MS. What do you all think, do you think battle metaphors are helpful to cope?

    Duff on illness

  • #2
    Stop trying to heal your body

    Another unique positive way to cope with chronic illness that I found on line is to stop trying to heal your body (treating it like it is broke or it has betrayed you). Instead frame the idea of your body in your thoughts that it needs to be treated with kindness, good sleep, food, water, and love.

    I think that is an interesting way to redirect negative thoughts about my MS physical limitations. I will give it a try. At least it is free!


    • #3
      The "fight" modality doesn't work for me, takes too much of my precious energy.

      If a more peaceful way appeals, you might like the Mindfullness approach. I enjoyed the the book "Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat-Zinn on using mindful meditation to manage stress while living with chronic illness. It helped me with acceptance
      Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


      • #4
        Two books by the same author, (Toni Bernhard), "How to Be Sick" and her second book, " How to Wake Up" have been very helpful to me in settling myself about what I have to face daily, and my future. They are Buddhist-inspired guides...the first one is specific to people with chronic illnesses, and the second is for the general population. I often go back to either book to re read sections to help me reframe what is going on with me in a particular situation. I have been able to start internalizing the philosophy, and it has been very beneficial for me.
        Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


        • #5
          This was very good reading, especially the 2nd link from tiny buddha.

          I also don't find the "fight" metaphor one that I really identify with. Its not like this is one thing I am going to fight and then win, this is a life long thing. Better for me to be less adversarial and fighty and learn to live with it.

          To be honest I have a very tough time staying positive sometimes. This weekend I am actually attending a seminar at the Capital Chapter of the MS society on using the power of positive psychology. It really does help me when I focus on the positive and reframe things in a positive way. But I need to be better at this. Will see what I learn. I am positive it will be interesting!

          I generally stay away from MS seminars and stuff because the people who tend to attend view things negatively (often for justified reasons!) and I find being around that brings me down. I don't want to sit around and cry about what I can't do anymore (though, I do this once in awhile and need to stop it!) and finding a group that is not like that (like here!) can be hard. I am not sure what that says about me, someday I hope to be stronger in my positivity so that I can be around the negative folks and not have it effect me. That day has not come yet though


          • #6
            Don't Know if This Helps

            I'm starting to see my disabilities due to MS as along the spectrum of slowing down that occurs to all of us as we age. It's happening to me (us) much sooner than for most, but it is something we all experience eventually to some degree. I don't think this fast aging thing is a metaphor, it's a reality. And I personally don't find any deep message in it except that I am simply another animal on earth with my own peculiarities and that's okay.


            • #7
              Mindfulness meditation has been my anchor and has given me the ability to accept lots of things in my life, MS being among them. It has taken a long time for me to relax into being who I am with MS along for the ride. I have had to develop a great deal of compassion for myself.

              Good, wise thoughts here. Thanks for sharing.


              My Two Numb Feet - An MS Diary


              • #8
                Researchers say mindfulness activates Left Cortex!

                It is all in your mind! I like this take on mediation and mindfulness. A researcher at the University of Wisconsin looked into the brain activity of being stressed and zen. He concluded we can consciously shift the activity in the brain from bad to good!
                He "found that when we are upset, depressed, worried and the like, there is high activity in the right side of the prefrontal cortex, the brain area just behind the forehead. When we are in an upbeat, energetic, exhilarated mood, the right frontal area quiets and the left side perks up. The ratio of left-to-right activity predicts our usual mood range. ...But we can shift our emotional set point in a positive direction. For example, when stressed-out bio-tech workers were given eight weeks of mindful breath and yoga training, practicing just a half-hour a day, ...they were able to shift their emotional setpoint from the overwhelmed right back toward the easygoing left, Davidson found. "

                link to article:

                shifting into zen


                • #9
                  Movie Inspiration...thumbs up

                  Hi, thought I'd add to this post a movie my daughters had me rent last night... Miracles from Heaven. Jennifer Garner plays a mom who zealously advocates for her sick daughter to figure out what is making her gravely sick. I normally go for fantasy feel good warm and fuzzy escapism so I was a reluctant viewer. As you may know, Garner's movie family struggles with faith and the financial and emotional impact of a chronic illness on her child and the family, but all the drama is tolerable because as you watch the movie you know from the trailer that the girl gets cured by a miracle, and it isn't fiction. What surprised me was that it wasn't a sugar coated hallelujah story. In fact, most of the story made my mascara run. It was pretty honest about the effect of illness on finances, marriages, siblings, friends, and one's faith. As well as what it feels like when the medical community is flippant or unable to help. But there are some awesome scenes that I rewatched, ones where Garner's character speaks candidly with her pastor and the pastor says essentially that one can walk away from faith or to it, and he found it was much easier when one walks to it. At the end, Garner's character is able to see how many simple "miracles" that intersect our lives daily-- like a friend who watches your children in the middle of the night because you can't, a secretary who makes sure your message gets to the right person, or a waitress who takes time out to encourage.
                  I thought the movie was gently uplifting, didn't preach, and reminded me to see the little "miracles" every day. I recommend it.


                  • #10
                    Coping by letting go of time and judgment

                    I just saw a wonderful short video on cable tv about how one young medical dr coped with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

                    Dr. Paul Kalanithi kept living fully, even after he had little time left. I don't think I can put his own philosophy into words, but essentially, he let go of time and judgment, allowed him to savor life - both the joy and the pain.

                    So true, I think that whether one has terminal or chronic illness, there are some similar choices about how to savor the life remaining...

                    I do savor life, but I often feel defeated when I am sad because of what MS does to me and my family. In this video, the doctor's wife says it is wrong to avoid sadness, it is better to seek meaning... this seems like a simple answer, but maybe taking this advice will make life less heavy?

                    What do you think, do any of you use this type of philosophy?

                    Here is the video short, it is beautiful. I thought I would share...


                    • #11
                      Secret to Resilency with MS

                      This research finding about how to bounce back when MS gets you down intuitively makes sense to me. “Psychological adaptation, social connection, life meaning, planning and physical wellness emerged as facilitators of resilience." I liked that the Authors remind us that resilience can be improved and one should focus on it to bounce back if MS is getting you down.
                      link to article about study: https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.c...d-bounce-back/.


                      • #12
                        Chronic illness- ok to have, gratitude & feelings of loss together

                        Amy Silverstein has had 2 heart transplants and says society frowns on honesty when dealing with people who suffer from chronic illness --Silverstein feels yes, one should have gratitude but also know that "loss and troubles" come along with it and that is fine, normal.
                        Well said! Thank you!

                        check out at 1 min.20 on video:


                        • #13
                          It's ok to feel broken

                          I thought this was beautifully written and wanted to share:

                          I have found myself so many times in that broken place. It can be soul-shattering and dark. It often feels isolating and without hope. But it’s when we are broken and life has worn us down that we must hold on to hope the most, because when we open ourselves up to learning from our experiences, and we honor our intuition, we begin to receive all of the blessings that are meant for us. We begin to heal at those broken points, often in new ways. We learn to let go of what’s not for us, and we begin to accept ....."

                          by Crystal Jackson, Elephant Journal


                          • #14
                            I love the idea that words themselves frame our circumstances . . . Probably because we can change our words easier than circumstances. I use the fight metaphor a lot with MS. I'm giving it the middle finger with my DMT I like to laugh. Kicking it in the ass and down the street. But there maybe times I am helped by acceptance of what is.. not that I am a sick person, but that what I feel in the present moment (fatigue and weakness) just is, but it is not my body I fight or hate. Ekhart Tolle is a little too new age for me to grasp, but the last 4 minutes of this podcast really spoke to me about how to frame my MS symptoms in present moment rather than an entity to fight . Does this make sense to you all???