Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)

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I first saw this coined as a term and identified as a vital part of ALS treatment by Eric Edney.  Since he lived 22 years with ALS, and this is no-cost, I see no reason not to include it in my regimen.  Over the years I have seen other people – from pALS to scientists – who advocate this concept. Although traditional doctors don’t talk about it, and might even scoff, there is growing scientific evidence supporting the mind-body connection in healing.  Whether you are naturally positive, or you aren’t but are willing to try it, here are ideas to get you started.

First, check out the Healing ALS website to counterbalance the conventional wisdom bombarding you about life expectancy and lack of remission.  There is a long list of long-term survivors, some of whom have reversed symptoms. Naysayers write off their success as a wrong diagnosis.  Again, there is no harm and everything to gain by reading their stories; whether it was a misdiagnosis or real results, it improved their lives and it could improve yours.

When a friend heard about my diagnosis, she sent me the book, Every Word Has Power by Yvonne Oswald.  I applied its principles to every subsequent inspirational thing I read or listened to.  For instance, when I made a CD of happy songs, I originally included Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin.  But one principle is that your subconscious doesn’t hear “don’t” and focuses on “worry.”  When I sang along, I changed the words to “have faith, be happy.” Doesn’t that sound more reassuring?

I started reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, and liked the movie even better.  There used to be a page on their website that had tips for the secret to health.  Here’s a version (the secret to health) where I organized their bullet points into their 4 main guidelines:  Appreciate, Love, Be Happy, and Be Well. I rephrased a few to use only positive words, and added bible verses.  (You can substitute quotes or song lyrics that are meaningful to you.)

Appreciation and gratitude are common themes to happiness and healing strategies. Check out this video (and the updated version) that is a short 5-minute reflection on things to be grateful for, even in the midst of less than ideal situations.  Now that I can’t talk or move, I love the reminder that I can be a blessing to others just by a smile or “just by your presence.”

Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer dives deep into 12 strategies based on scriptures from the Bible that you can purposefully use to empower yourself.  I especially used “I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ” when the challenges of ALS seemed overwhelming. “I am difficult to offend” surprisingly came in handy when well-intentioned people said thoughtless things.

Soon after I had to quit work, I saw episode 1 of a short-lived TV series, Breakthrough with Tony Robbins.  [This is the best version I can find on YouTube.]   At a time when I was discouraged about becoming increasingly dependent on others, and about having to give up the life I had planned, it was good to see a couple going through similar feelings.

If these don’t resonate with you, there are plenty of other encouraging books and movies.  I like Louise Hay, Bruce Lipton, Lissa Rankin, Joe Dispenza, Bernie Siegal and Greg Bradon.   Share the ways you keep a Positive Mental Attitude in the comments section or by email!

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