Autoimmune Disease Thriving Mindset

I was asked the other day to share what has been involved in developing my autoimmune disease thriving mindset. I’m not about just surviving this disease or getting by. I want to thrive as I live with an autoimmune disease.

If you’ve been hanging out with me for a while online you know I’m obsessed with definitions in my blog posts. So I always love looking at the root of a word. So when I think about mindset, I’ll share the attitudes I’ve created for myself after my MS diagnosis.

Attitude #1: Living with Multiple Sclerosis is not a death sentence

I refused and still refuse to look at the average life expectancy of someone living with MS. Because unfortunately, I will not become just another number. And by the way I take care of myself I am expecting to have a life expectancy greater than the average. I’m also focused on increasing my healthspan and not just my lifespan. I want to live a full life and be healthy during my last few years. I don’t want to live them out in an assisted living facility stuck in a bed. It’s why I’m taking steps to improve my metabolic health in addition to caring for a body that has a confused immune system.

Attitude #2: I GET to take care of myself differently than I did before

While many things may have contributed to me developing MS, I can now take care of myself differently than I did before. I don’t think I’ve ever actually shared the science behind the correleations to developing MS or the research that is now coming out around EBV and causation. But needless to say I believe it to be several factors:

  • Vitamin D Deficiency
  • Emotional Health & Being In Poor Relationships
  • Stress Management
  • EBV
  • Digestive Health
  • and More

That all being said some of these things relate directly to how I take care of myself or how I move through the world. So if I can identify correleation or a gut feeling around correleation then I can take steps to improve how I’m living my life now.

Those have included:

  • Healing Digestive Health Problems
  • Nourishing My Body With Nutrient Dense Foods
  • Taking Supplements Based on Deficiencies
  • Moving My Body In A Way That Supports My Nervous System
  • Managing My Stress Responses
  • Getting Quality & Quantity of Sleep
  • Reducing My Toxic Load

I also avoid language around taking better care of myself than before (because then that discounts my entire life). This is simply a case of when you know better, you can do better.

Attitude #3: I can’t do it all, but I can do something every day

While the list of things that I do for myself is really long if I tried to do everything every day. However, each day, I get to choose from the list and do a few things or even one thing a day to take care of myself. Some days I have a ton of energy and I am up to incorporating a bunch of self-care tools into my routine. And then some days, I’m exhausted and the best I can do for myself is an epsom salt bath and getting to bed early so I can sleep at least 8 hours.

Attitude #4: I can heal myself

The first time I walked into Soul7 in Toronto (which is unfortunately no longer open), I met Bob Berman, the owner. And something he said to me has stuck with me ever since. He told me that “You will be able to heal yourself”. And I believed/believe him.

Here is a quote from an article in the Toronto Guardian:

“Their belief is that every person has the ability to heal. Their mission is to help people heal naturally and faster by combining ancient healing wisdom with new technology.”

Attitude #5: An autoimmune disease is simply a health sidekick

I am not defined by a diagnosis. Multiple sclerosis is not who I am. It’s something I live with. And that is why I call my MS simply a health sidekick that is here to remind me every day that I get to take care of myself. That I get to do this for myself and that I get to lead a fulfilling, active life.

If you live with an autoimmune disease what other attitudes that allow you to thrive would you add to the list?

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