Changing From a Negative to Positive Mindset

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by Michelle Gonzaba |

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I’ve never been the most positive person in the world. I’ve discussed in previous columns how my negative tendencies have affected my life, but I’ve since made progress in becoming more positive. The journey has had its hurdles, though.

In the early years after my myasthenia gravis diagnosis, I struggled to think positive thoughts. Every moment of weakness brought despair. Every new treatment signaled a never-ending fight. But negative thoughts had always been my safe space.

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Before MG, I always leaned toward negativity. It’s just how my brain was wired. I viewed every imperfect situation as only steps away from disaster. My negativity was like breathing — automatic, done without thought.

But that negativity became a burden I couldn’t carry anymore. I was exhausted by my own thoughts. I thought that my negativity would prepare me for every worst-case scenario, but that was never the case. I used to be incredibly afraid of ending up in the ICU due to my MG. And guess what? I did. But my negative thoughts didn’t prepare me for anything — they only added to my anger and sadness.

After this incident, I decided to retrain my brain. I was tired of living in a never-ending cycle of negativity. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I wanted to spend my time enjoying life instead of being scared of everything.

Starting a new habit isn’t easy. It takes time, dedication, and a strong commitment to change. I’ve never been good at it, as it’s always been too easy for me to give up on new habits. If I’m not an expert at something immediately, I decide it’s no longer worth my time. But I knew that positive thinking was essential to living a better life.

I started to pay more attention to my mindset in difficult situations. When my MG weakness flared up, I noticed how dark my thoughts became. But instead of running with those thoughts, I worked on changing them. I would make myself think more positively. It was like forcing myself to write with my left hand when I’d been using my right all my life.

I did this over and over until it became second nature. Soon, my thoughts were naturally positive. And my life is better for it.

Negativity still seeps into my brain, but I now know how to replace it with positivity. I am better equipped to mentally deal with whatever life and MG throw at me. I don’t waste any time worrying about what could be.


Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


Tanya Otterstein-Liehs avatar

Tanya Otterstein-Liehs

We all have negative thoughts, but there's a significant difference you can make. When your self-critic "whispers" in your mind, validate it but do not give it power. Hear your negative words, but then double up with positive thoughts of self-love, and don't get upset with yourself for having any kind of negative thoughts - you are human after all.
Daily habits of gratitude are what will help you develop a positive mindset and see that things "could always be worse".


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