Thursday, August 11, 2005

Nasty People and Your Health

What does "Nasty People" have to do with having Multiple Sclerosis? Well, nothing directly ... but how you choose to deal with the people you encounter each day can have a HUGE impact on how you physically feel?

Do people frustrate you? Do you ever argue with someone and then find that you physically don't feel too good or that you are exhausted from all that negative energy you exerted?

There are many studies out there that prove that stress has a negative impact on our Health -- so why do we choose to get upset when some nasty person is rude to us or treats us poorly? If I choose to get upset or yell at that person, it sure is NOT going to change how that person is going to continue to behave. (Matter of fact, it may make things worse). If it is someone that just cut me off on the road, I let it go. If it is someone that is talking to me, I am respectful, but firm in my voice, never yell and just take the corporate/professional approach. I am a firm believer in treating people the way I would want to be treated --- and yes, that still applies to the people that are "nasty". Of course, the tone in my voice is far more lighthearted when I am speaking with someone who has a pleasant dispostion and is friendly and considerate. But, I refuse to get all angry & frustrated when I encounter the "nasty person".

I also remind myself that "you never know what other people's baggage is". Maybe that person is being nasty because their spouse just left them. Maybe their boss just chewed them out for just doing their job. Maybe they have been treated poorly their whole life and don't know any other way to treat people. Maybe they were just told that they have 5 months to live.... the list can go on. We simply just don't know why people act the way they do... but one thing I do know is that YOU have a choice on how you respond, behave and act with people. You are in control of your actions. So, the next time that someone "pisses you off", take the high road... and add a few years to your life by responding in a neutral way.

I learned the following equation from a seminar leader... E + R = O

E= Event (which is always neutral -- an event that occurs is neither positive or negative -- we put that judgement on it)

R= Our response to the event (Negative or Positive)

O = Outcome (which is all based on our response since the event is actually neutral)

For example, let's say it rains on your golf day. The event is "it's raining on your golf day". You can choose to respond by getting all upset and being annoyed that you can't golf that day (negative response) OR you can choose to say " oh well, maybe I will go out with my friends today and grab a bite to eat, instead" or "maybe I will read that book I have been wanting to read and curl up with that warm comfy blanket". Now, what do you think the outcome would be for these two very different types of responses... the one where you are upset because you can't golf will probably ruin your whole day (negative outcome). The other response will probably keep you in a good mood and you will end up having a pleasant day afterall.

This may all seem trivial, but when you have a chronic health condition like Multiple Sclerosis, it is crucial that you minimize your stress level, maintain a positive and healthy attitude as often as you can and make sure that you do things and behave in a way that maintains your energy level or increases it ... not things that diminish your energy level. We sure don't need that!

Do yourself a favor, the next time you encounter a "nasty person" or have an event happen to you that you perceive as "negative", ask yourself the question "how could I respond to this differently that would make me FEEL better?"

Warmest Regards,
Your MS Life Coach & Motivational Speaker
Maria Lesetz
Owner and Founder of Lovin' Life

Inspiring and Empowering People with MS to live a rich and fulfilling life!!!


Sunday, August 07, 2005

What the Statistician Knows about Multiple Sclerosis

As many of you may know, I am also a Statistician in addition to being a Motivational Speaker and Life Empowerment Consultant and Coach. I worked in the corporate world for over 14 years and predicted outcomes for a living!

I found humor in the fact that I was diagnosed with one of the most unpredictable diseases. I am statistician... I should be able to predict this with a 95% confidence level!

Well, the lesson that I learned from the diagnosis of MS is that the "unpredictable" is just fine because there is an element of "unknown" in every event that happens and that the outcome can be more dependent on things that can't be measured (e.g., the power of our minds & spirit). I actually am glad that this disease is unpredictable because it allows me to give equal weight or more weight to the positive outcome. I deserve it! I claim it! (And for those of you reading this that have been diagnosed with a disease that doctors predict to be a negative course of progression, THROW THAT PREDICTION OUT and tap into your own ability to change the course of the disease!!! Predictions are just that ... predictions -- but there is ALWAYS room for error in those predictions and ONLY YOU can determine the size of that error that's being made in that predition!)

What I do know about MS is that any stress in my life can affect how I am feeling that day. If I feel overwhelmed with the workload I have or feel that there is too much to do and allow myself to get inundated, my body feels it. So, the diagnosis of MS has actually helped me to slow down, smell the roses -- or the coffee :) --- and actually get to know my limits and boundaries a lot better. I now know, more than ever before, when I need a break or need to take a deep breath and relax and pamper myself. Sounds like a logical thing to do... but many of us don't stop to do this. And if you have been diagnosed with MS (or any other chronic health condition or disease), you may want to seriously consider taking the time out for YOU on a regular basis!

Statistically speaking:
- I am 100% confident that you have what it takes within you to overcome this health challenge and create an extraordinary life for yourself! --- Statisticians NEVER say 100% confident, so I am stepping out of the norm and stating what I feel from the heart... not from my mathematical and analytical side!

- The odds are if you maintain a positive attitude and make an extra effort to minimize your stress level, you will feel better physically and emotionally.

- Strive to be the "outlier" -- don't settle for the "norm" or the "status quo" -- always aim high and challenge yourself to see the other side of that "bump in the road".

- Statistics can NOT predict how you are going to do with this disease. YOU are the major element in that prediction equation. What are you going to do differently today that will have a positive impact on how you physically and emotionally feel?

- Defy the Odds, Throw Caution to the Wind and Live Life to it's maximum... NOW!

If not NOW... when?

Maria Lesetz
Lovin' Life
Motivational Speaker & Life Empowerment Consultant or

Lovin' Life's mission is to inspire and empower people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis to reach for their full potential in every aspect of life and LIVE LIFE FULLY... NOW!


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