Saturday, August 29, 2009

Contributing Writer...

I received an email from a *reader* (said with tongue in cheek because the notion of ANYONE repetitively coming here to "read" is Hi Larry Us!) a while back requesting to submit a contributing piece here on CHEESE. Well, seeing how I am barely a contributing writer myself these days, I said, "Golly, SURE!".

The following article was written by Emily Thomas and I have agreed to post it. As always (and just like in comments), I may not always AGREE with everything someone says, but the fact they are willing to SAY it has merit at the CHEESE headquarters. So, here you go...please welcome guest writer, Emily:

6 Tips on Staying Positive When You’re Ill

Whether you have a treatable illness or something much more serious, staying positive through your treatments and not letting the possibilities of your condition get you down can be a hard task for even the greatest of optimists. Yet, studies have shown time and time again that maintaining a positive outlook and taking care of your mental health is an essential part to your overall health and future outlook. Here are some tips that can help you look on the bright side even when you’re feeling more like a Debbie downer.

1. Put things in perspective. So you feel bad and you’re sick. But more than likely, things could be worse. If you’re doing well, improving or have a long life ahead of you, your situation isn’t really all that bad. Try to look at it from an optimistic perspective rather than just feeling bad for yourself.

2. Think about what you do have. You might be ill, but there are probably a lot of other blessings in your life. Friends, family and loved ones can be a great source of support while you’re dealing with your illness and can help to remind you of all the great things you do have, even if your health is suffering.

3. Celebrate your successes. Even small improvements in your health can be a big deal. Celebrate your good days, progress you’re making and new treatments that are working. Focusing on the positives of your illness can make it easier to deal with and keep you hopeful and happy.

4. Your brain isn’t your body. Your body may be sick, but your mind doesn’t have to follow suit. Your brain is the one in charge so make the conscious decision to take charge and not let worries, “why me’s” and depression take over your thoughts.

5. Take care of yourself. This doesn’t mean just caring for your illness it means caring for who you are as well. As much as you can, make yourself look good and feel good. After all, often looking good on the outside is the first step to changing how you see yourself from the inside.

6. Find things to laugh about. Even in the worst of times there are things that can make you laugh and lift your spirits. Surround yourself with people and things that put a smile on your face and make feeling bad not even an option.

This post was contributed by Emily Thomas, who writes about the
associate degree. She welcomes your feedback at Emily.Thomas31@

1 comment:

Dan Digmann said...

Amen, Emily!

Your "Put things in perspective" is a totally effective way cope with the bad days. I'm always afraid of waking up tomorrow and have things be worse, to which I'd wonder what the heck was I complaining about today.

In fact, and forgive the shameless self-promotion, I made such a point in a national contest-winning podcast posted this week on the Acorda Therapeutics "I walk because" Web site at

The podcasts feature my wife, Jennifer, and me. We both have MS, and we're just hoping that our story also will help other people keep things in perspective and positively move forward with their lives.