That's where the ALS Wellness Life Dimensions model comes in. It's a simple daily method that has been of tremendous help to me these past six years I've been living with ALS.
First, some truths:
1.) Recent research* shows that adopting resilient behaviors and attitudes will improve your well-being, health, comfort and happiness. 2.) You alone control your mental and emotional states. 3.) And our bridge to crossover from the land of dry research and statistics into real-world applications and quality of life is by way of the ALS Life Dimensions Model.
We can however keep our Life Dimensions balanced and full through behaviors that include: taking responsibility for our emotional feelings, challenging our illness and accepting problems without resigning into them, relying on supportive relationships and controlling the controllable aspects of our life.
In general, the five different dimensions are inter-connected and even though we may at times need to focus more on one over another, together they hold equal status in our overall well-being. As soon as we become aware of an over-emphasis on one dimension, we check-in with the remaining dimensions and explore ways to make adjustments or increases in each. A change in one dimension will have an effect on several other dimensions.
For instance, losing the ability to walk or drive a car may affect social activities and self-esteem. Using an electric wheel-chair or arranging for shared transportation can be solutions that allow for continued social activities and improved self-esteem.
If you can't quite accept it yet (feelings of anger, denial, sadness, etc.) then read Part 4 Lifelines (post coming soon) for a list of techniques that I've used to process and accept change.
For example, with a loss of the ability to walk make a list with two columns: named "A" and "B." Under "A" list all the places and locations you need access to (example: across the house, in the grocery store) Then, Under "B" identify what could be used to get you from A-to-B. Such as, to move across the house: a walker. In the grocery store: a store provided electric cart, and so on. As you brainstorm enlist the help of others for ideas, possible solutions and how to bring solutions into reality.
quality sleep and regular daily physical activity.
to engage with others.
• Our actions are consistent with our beliefs and values.
• We are content with our spiritual beliefs.
Are you ready to begin? It's really not that difficult once you get used to the process and this method can quickly become your new healthy daily habit. I find that whenever I notice I'm beginning to feel ‘down’ or stressed, I check–in with my feelings and mentally visualize the five dimensions. Then I'm able to assess the cause and can figure out what I need to do for re-balance. Overall the process helps me feel more in control and more relaxed throughout my day.
I look forward to your feedback and comments - - as well as your success stories!
Disease: a Thematic Synthesis” Front Psychol. 6:606.dol:10.3389/fpsycg. 2015.00606 4
ALS and Wellness Blogger