Recently, the issue of keeping a positive frame of mind amid worsening symptoms has become part of the conversation. In June of 2014, I posted “Fighting Parkinson’s, and let’s play a game.” The game was about keeping a positive frame of mind. I think it is time for all of us to have some fun and play the game again. Who’s in?<!-more-->
Here we are getting ready for the weekend, and I want to play this game with all of you. It is a self-monitored game, and we can play together for the next week. I will call it the Positive Thinking Only game.
As I have told you many times, you are not your symptoms. Since you are not your symptoms, you need to stop being obsessed with your symptoms. That, my friends, is the challenge of the game. Okay, I did not say it would be an easy game.
Here are the rules: Think positive thoughts, only, about your recovery. When negative thoughts enter your mind about your recovery, have a list ready to help you shift your thoughts and transform the negative thoughts into positive thoughts…remember, this is the Positive Thinking Only game!
A great place to start is by making a positive thoughts list. Put at least five things on it that make you joyful or express your gratitude or your acceptance of your life and recovery, and carry the list around with you so that you will never be at a loss for some good positive thinking. Here are some ideas for the positive thinking list:
“This is necessary for my recovery.”
“This is part of my recovery.”
“I am curing myself by doing the Recipe, so I do not have to worry.”
“I accept myself unconditionally right now.”
“I am grateful for ____________.” (fill in the blank)
“I am grateful for ____________.” (fill in the blank)
When a negative thought about your symptoms or recovery surfaces, pull out the list and change it a positive thought.
You are not your symptoms. Throughout the day, do not judge your symptoms as better or worse, good or bad. Do not consume yourself with what your symptoms are doing. Worrying about the future only makes your symptoms worse and it paints a picture to the Universe that you expect a worse future. Keep your thoughts light and joyful.
View your symptoms like this:
Parkinson’s is defined by symptoms. I have Parkinson’s, therefore I have symptoms. THAT’S IT! They mean nothing more than that you have Parkinson’s, which you already know and already have accepted. THAT’S IT!
You are doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®, so whatever is going on in your life and your recovery is necessary in your life and your recovery. Smile, feel joyful, and SEE your recovery. Close your eyes and run or dance or drive your car or swim or ski or jump on the trampoline. SEE your recovery and open your heart to the joyfulness you will have on the inside as you experience your recovery.
SEE your recovery and feel joy in the journey.
Do not wait for your recovery. SEE IT AND BE IT…NOW!!!
When I posted let’s play a game the first time, many people could not make it beyond the first day, and some of them told me it was because thinking positive thoughts only went against human nature. I disagree.
By nature, I feel that we are loving, happy, joyful, compassionate, forgiving, grateful beings. Somewhere in life, things were said or things happened that knocked people out of balance and people began to believe that human nature was to be angry, stressful, worrisome, fearful, hateful, judgmental beings. Getting back to your original nature is part of this recovery.
Doing the Recipe and playing the Positive Thinking Only game helps you on your journey to getting back into balance in your life, physically, mentally, and spiritually. It brings you back into balance with your original human nature.
That’s the game. Who wants to play? Who is willing to spend the next seven days being joyful in your heart and releasing all negative thoughts and emotions while transforming them into positive thoughts and emotions?
Come on and play. What have you got to lose?
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
I am in! It can be difficult to be focusing on only the good and telling myself the truth that God/Higher Power has things under control and things are being worked out to the best advantage and outcome. Knowing that I have others pushing forward to do the same thing is empowering.
Hugs and love to all.
I’m in! I want to play. I feel so much better when I am thinking positive, and visualizing my full recovery, full recovery, full recovery, full recovery, and all of the awesome things I will be doing. Gosh I’m so excited that I have goosebumps and feel my heart opening.
And I agree! By nature, we are very loving, happy, joyful, compassionate, forgiving, grateful beings. I see all of that in my young granddaughters
Blessings to all!
Thank you Howard for the good game. I am to assess myself to be positive loving
caring, understanding, forgiving so nice to do to others too GOD BLESS YOU HOWARD
I am in and do the game already and I also fall back into negative thought
Thank you Howard for all coaching
I have great support from my family
Love to you all
Howard, thank you. Once again you are so tuned in to our needs!
This past week has been a spiritual battle with negativity. I won’t give you a description of symptoms. But I fought back with a long-neglected practice of writing uplifting scriptures and sayings on 3×5 cards and when I am tempted to despair I meditate on them. What a change in perspective they bring!
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
Proverbs 31: 25
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved.” Psalm 46: 5
I am in – may I add 2 of my favorite Bible verses:
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me o Lord and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are the one I praise.
Thank you Howard. I’m in. We can’t be reminded enough about being positive as negative thoughts have a habit of interfering with our recovery intentions. This will be fun and I look forward to being part of it. Thank you Howard for generous time and love you convey to us all. Love and blessings.
I am in as well, Sir Howard! And I am guided by one verse in particular…”Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
Hello. I”m in! Though I do not have any symptoms to worry about, I can still slip into negative thinking sometimes.
So I want to play too!
I’ve posted before about “taking in the good” and will share it again, for those who might find it of interest and helpful for getting the most benefit out of this week of positivity.
There is an expression about our brains being “like Velcro for negative thoughts and like Teflon for the positive”. There are
Evolutionary reasons for this, having to do with survival. The idea is that our ancient ancestors who were anxious and scanning for danger lived to pass in their genes, while the ones who were chilling, watching the clouds drift by may have been chomped ! So being wary and tuned towards threats and “the negative” had some survival value, but is not good for our happiness and well-being.
For me personally, before I found Howard and the Recipe for Recovery, Especially when I was having Parkinson’s symptoms and freaking out every day, know that I focused almost completely on what was wrong. I figured that what was going right didn’t need my attention. Everything good in my life got no more than a nod. That didn’t need my attention. Instead I focused my energy on problems. It made sense to me at the time. Howard helped me to understand that I needed to really make time for enjoying life, and feeling positive emotions like gratitude and awe. I started to take time to watch the clouds drift by and to appreciate the serenity of the moment. To appreciate the light shining through a window, the birds at the bird feeder. SOme neuroscientists believe that to counteract a natural negativity bias of the brain, it is important to really focus on positive experiences. Don’t let the moments pass by. Pause to really appreciate “ahhh, I feel great right now!” Or “this is so beautiful!” Or “I love this!!” Stay with the feeling for 15 seconds or more. EXpand the feeling; Really steep yourself in feeling your positive emotions. let the positive emotions saturate every cell of your body and fill you up.
I have been doing this for many years now, and find that as I practice this, it becomes easier and easier and I become happier and happier.
Sending you love and very best wishes for your happiness and well-being to grow more and more with each day.
Thank you Howard and Marie! This is such a great practice. I have spent so much energy on focusing on the negative aspect of a problem and can rather turn my attention to appreciating the beauty in life. There are so many moments in a day where I can pause and find and feel grace. Yes , I am in! Best , Pippa
Thank you Howard, and thanks again to Marie for staying in touch! I long since learned that what one rewards, one gets more of. So, rewarding positive things with our gratitude, thought and validation contributes to their increase. I am thankful for you both, for all warriors here, and for countless blessings in life.
Marie you are an absolute honey the way you still support us here with Howard on our journey. God Bless you.xx
wonderful words, thank you
Thank you Marie,
What a wonderful gift you’ve shared, I’m going to practice every hour on the hour until it’s automatic that I feel grateful and see what I’m able to do not what I’m struggling with 💕🙏💕
I have begun doing this more and more lately, Ive simply stopped bothering about my symptoms and am enjoying my life a lot more. I call it the ‘glad’ game.
I refuse to give PD much headspace, its working for me.
I’m in too. I loved reading all the comments above, uplifting. Looking forward to focusing on the positive, bright side of life.
Best wishes to all.
Thanks Howard,Marie and everyone.
I love the glad game. I feel like Pollyanna! As far as I’m concerned, we all have two choices. We’ve chosen to fight Parkinson’s. Within that arena, we can chose to be glad or sad. It may be a battle as we have not been encouraged to feel glad when being challenged, but only we can decide which way to go. Realising and owning that is very liberating as it opens up unexplored possibilities. How exciting is that?
I choose to be glad and free.
Love and blessings
A wonderful idea with this game, Howard!! Werni is in too!!! It’s not easy, but it is worth doing it, and thank you very much for your game!! Excellent!!
Tery and Werni
Thank you Howard, and everybody else for the wonderful comments and Bible verses.
We had a discussion on this very thing in a woman’s group I am part of just last night. The timing of this blog is not a coincidence.
PTO = Positive Thoughts Only = Power Take Off!!
I am composing my list this morning and putting it on my phone. I’m going to read it and add to it every time in negative pessimistic thought creeps towards my head.
Hi Howard and fellow warriors old and new! Great to see new names and their comments and contribution. I’m in Howard! Great game! 🙂
Big Love to all.
I am in Howard. Thank you. Thank you Marie. Cheers to everyone 😊
Great game. I am in! Right now I am the Dancing Queen feeling the beat of the tambourine. Thank you, Howard.
I am willing to see myself recovered from stroke symptoms, dancing, driving, and walking easily xx bright future 😍
I’m in Howard! The game may be challenging, but it will be well worth it. Thanks for being with us Marie.
I am in.
Positive thoughts , a hopeful mind
I belong to the positive kind
Step by step
Day by day
Hope and effort will make the way
Towards a full, sort of newborn life
Encouraged by Howard
– and in the background
When it is hard to move I will say
Fake it till you make it! No dismay.
Because I have made up my mind
I belong to the positive kind.
I love your poem Anne-Marie!
This positive thoughts only game is really difficult, but I’m going to do the best I can and accept that as worthwhile and effective. (Did you see that sentence starts negative and corrects the thought? 😊)
Everyone’s comments really encourage me. I especially appreciate the Bible verses shared. Thank you Trish, Beth and Mark!
I also love the specificity offered by Marie – “Stay with the feeling for 15 seconds or more. Expand the feeling; Really steep yourself in feeling your positive emotions. let the positive emotions saturate every cell of your body and fill you up.”
Here is my Bible verse offering-
“Instead, You direct me on a path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment.” Psalm 16:11 [VOICE]
Parkinson’s cannot keep us from knowing true joy and camping there!
Count me in Howard, I have been kind of working with myself on this already but it’s just motivates me to do it all the more since there’s more of us playing the game. Thanks for all you do.
Thanks Marie are your wonderful input and for keeping in touch with all of this by showing us your way.
I’m definitely in, Howard!!
Thanks for reminding us over and over again that we need to keep our spirits high!!
Thanks Howard for your words of encouragement. I was never the see-the-good kind of person you describe, but am trying hard to change. Your recipe and blog are helping. They give me the chance to actively take part in my recovery and not be passively loaded with drugs. I’m in.