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Self-Help & Coping

Keeping a Positive Outlook

“Do you know what my fibromyalgia is?” one mother inquisitively asked her young daughter. “Yes, mommy, it’s what makes you grumpy!”

An optimistic person might say that there’s a silver lining to every cloud; you just have to look for it. But searching for life’s fulfillment isn’t easy, and it can be especially difficult if you have a chronic illness that interferes with your daily activities. Yet, keeping a positive outlook may be your best survival tactic for learning to live with your illness.

Sure, you have ample cause to feel angry, frustrated, and grumpy about your fibromyalgia. For many, fibromyalgia is like a bad dream that has come true. But do you think your family, friends or co-workers like to see you gloomy? No. They would prefer to be around someone who is happy, someone who exudes cheerfulness. Friends may not tell you to get a better attitude; they may simply choose to keep their distance and leave you alone.

But you don’t want to be left alone. You need your family and friends to help cheer you up and get you through the bad times—whether they be the result of financial strain from medical bills or the fibromyalgia symptoms themselves. So, appearing down-and-out (regardless of how you feel) isn’t to your advantage.

Here are just a few tips on how to keep a positive outlook:

  • Refuse to worry about any negative elements in your life that are beyond your control. Too many negative thoughts can land you in the dumps emotionally, but it takes continuous effort on your part to prevent unpleasantries from crowding your outlook on life.
  • Do not take on other people’s problems. You have all you can handle keeping your own focus positive.
  • Save a few minutes each day to visualize the world around you and try to think of at least one way to make your outlook brighter.
  • When anticipating what lies ahead in a day, think about the good things that can happen. Beginning each day with an optimistic thought can help you make it through the day.
  • When replaying the events of a day, think about your accomplishments. Sure, you could have done more, but don’t think about that. Even healthy people wish they could get more done in a day, so don’t get caught up in that line of thinking.
  • Share what you are learning about changing your state of mind with the person you care most about. Maybe you can help them adjust their viewpoint and you both will be a lot happier

Changing your outlook and building a positive attitude with a chronic illness is no easy task, but it can greatly improve your life. You can keep your old friends (if you want) and make new ones as well. You can change the way people view you, and they certainly won’t associate your fibromyalgia with grumpiness!