How's your PMA?

Right after college I was on staff at a large camp in northern Michigan.  Over a ten week period of time we had over 10,000 summer campers, and I learned the importance of positive mental attitude (PMA) that summer.  Periodically during the mealtimes and various activities, the staff and campers would stop whatever they were doing, and chant in unison, “How’s your PMA?”  It seems like a silly camp ritual, but looking back, continually keeping a check on one’s positive mental attitude was a great habit to develop.

Many have a natural tendency to become negative under stress; and stress is just a simple word for, “Life’s the pits right now, I’m overwhelmed, and things aren’t going the way I had planned.”   

When negativity wraps its ugly claws around our minds, we typically don’t want to make good choices, because negativity causes us to feel sorry for ourselves.  Poor me.  Self-pity mentality can be detrimental to our well-being and to those around us.

Emily BollerHow do I know?  I experienced it first hand last weekend.  On June 3rd I had what was ‘supposed’ to be a simple arthroscopic knee procedure to mend a meniscus tear.  No big deal.  A couple of days off of it, and then a couple of weeks of TLC, and I would be good to go again.  Well, the surgery ended up being more involved, and upon discharge I was instructed to not bear any weight on the injured leg for six weeks; and also be on a continuous passive machine (CPM) for eight hours, every single day, for those six weeks.

It’s summer-like weather now in Indiana.  We just endured a long, cold winter and spring, and the weather is finally nice.  I had a full summer of activities planned.  Being indoors, hooked up to a CPM machine was definitely not on that list.  Worse yet I can’t even prepare a simple meal or wash a load of dirty clothes without enormous effort . . . for me, that’s stress!

Two days post-op I was feeling sorry for myself, and guess what?  I really didn’t care two cents about my health.  Apathy had set in, and the negativity affected my rational thinking and well-being, big time.  Who knows, I might have even resorted to drowning my sorrows in a hot fudge sundae at Dairy Queen; but thankfully I couldn’t drive!

I have no choice but to continuously check my positive mental attitude right now.  I must focus on the positive blessings in my life and not the negative circumstances; otherwise I’m undone.

So when those moments of stress hit, and life gets overwhelming, or when it’s not going the way we had expected, that’s the time to evaluate our positive mental attitude.  That's the time to list everything that we are thankful for.  Our perspective will always affect our choices; and choices will always determine the difference between marginal health and incredible health!


How about you?  How’s your PMA today?

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Comments (11) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Marie Krieger - June 13, 2011 8:47 AM

Your posts have been heartfelt and very helpful to so many people. Like your paintings they are filled with color,enthusiasm and vivacity.
Hope you heal up faster than expected and treat yourself to the healthful goodies that will aide your recovery.
Best wishes!

Kathy Speck - June 13, 2011 9:28 AM

Emily, hang in there! I love your posts and you always have something to say that touches me. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers !

Jen - June 13, 2011 10:12 AM

Thanks for the post. I have been wallowing a bit too much in my own self-pity. Time to be greatful for all the blessings I have and learn from the unexpected and not planned for stuff. Those are where the best lessons are. You helped me remember that!

Annette Chambers - June 13, 2011 11:19 AM

I am so grateful for your posts! Everyday I am excited to see what you will write about! I consider myself to be an extremely positive person, so looking at your situation, I am grateful that you know how to eat the foods that will aid your body into healing fast! My thoughts are with you because you make a big difference in my life. I have never met you, but I tell people about you. Keep Smiling!

Emily Boller - June 13, 2011 11:24 AM

Thanks everyone.

Contentment is a state-of-being that is the result of a positive outlook; and has nothing to do with one's circmstances. Unfortunately, it's one of those traits that can only be developed through practice. I'm hoping to improve, pass the tests, and earn an A in "Contentment 101" by mid July. :)

Carrie - June 13, 2011 1:08 PM

Thanks for the reminder about attitude. I hope your recovery turns out to be much quicker than expected -- you never know what could happen with a nutritarian diet fueling your recovery!

Laura - June 13, 2011 2:25 PM

I always enjoy your posts, Emily. Your progress has been an inspiration to me. It's not everyday that I see someone get younger-looking before my very eyes as you have.

Ginger - June 13, 2011 4:43 PM

You make me smile. Hang in there; it will pass quickly.

StephenMarkTurner - June 13, 2011 7:07 PM

Hi Emily

I hope this all passes quickly for you.

Mary Unger - June 14, 2011 6:40 AM

Emily - I can relate; I joined a beginners running club and ended up limping off the field because of right-knee Chondromalatia ("runners knee"). I was on crutches; this happened last Tuesday, June 7th. At the time, I had just seen Dr. Fuhrman on PBS on Sun., June 5th and was re-committed to following "Eat To Live" when this happened. I am getting through it by re-reading Eat To Live and your story about following the Plan no matter what (even when your son is sick) inspired me to stick with it. I am continuing to eat healthy meals throughout (my daughter helps with the shopping, etc.) Hang in there and know that you are an inspiration to all of us!

Snova - June 14, 2011 4:42 PM

I love your articles and posts. It seems you have many kindred spirits. 'Hope your recovery is swift!

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