Living positively with a negative disease is not an easy task. AS affects each person differently, which means trial and error on medications, and even how to live with AS. What works for me may not work for you – but as a community we can share ideas together.
Here are some of my suggestions that help me stay positive. Number one on my list is: even though we live with such a burdensome disease, we must try and keep a positive attitude. My saying has always been, "AS has my body, but NOT me!"
By saying that, I simply mean that even though my body is riddled with disease, I will NOT let AS own me or define me. Find any way you can to bring positivity into each day. Here are a few suggestions:
Keep a journal and write down five positive things each morning
Did you know that it takes five positive comments to delete that one negative comment from our mind?
No matter how you feel, get up and get dressed
Even if you simply shower and put clean pajamas on!
Keep a favorite book and have a comfortable spot that is just for reading.
Listen to uplifting music
This is my favorite tip! I love praise and worship music, but whatever music works for you.
Go outside and sit
Look around and listen: take a few moments just to soak in the beauty (if the weather is cooperating).
Always have someone you can talk to
Whether it’s a family member, friend or even someone online! There are a lot of groups and message boards that can help with struggles and questions about AS. Never try and go through this AS life alone.
These tips are all things that you can do even while staying at home. Sometimes, being home-bound makes it hard to find something positive. But we should always look for ways that we can live positively even when we are home-bound.
This can be hard when you’re in the middle of a major flare. Finding one positive and focusing on that during this time will help with our state of mind. I truly believe that a positive state of mind helps us to better cope with the 24/7 struggles of living with AS.
In the next article, I’ll be talking about how people in my AS community help to stay positive. Until then – stay positive and remember… AS has my body, but not me!