Saturday, June 2, 2012

Positive Psychology, Multiple Sclerosis, and Everyday Matters

“The study of positive psychology [is] a growing interest in using science to understand more about human strength and resilience regardless of specific circumstances.” - Everyday Matters information sheet
No matter what your challenges may be, the ability to be resilient carries you forward in life.  The power of positive thinking - a phrase made popular by the Norman Vincent Peale publication of the same name in 1996 - is a philosophy which focuses on positive growth and the achievement of one’s highest potential.  The scientific study of positive psychology has blossomed since the 1985 publication of the groundbreaking work of Michael F Scheier and Charles S. Carver in the seminal study, "Optimism, Coping, and Health: Assessment and Implications of Generalized Outcome Expectancies" in Health Psychology

The National MS Society has teamed up with Sanofi-Genzyme (developers of Teriflunomide and Alemtuzumab) to present Everyday Matters (, a program which aims to engage and inspire the MS community.  This new program will teach positive psychology by teaming renowned psychology expert and former Harvard University lecturer Shawn Achor with Kristen Adams, a mom and Emmy‐award winning producer living with MS, and Michelle Clos, a life coach certified by the International Coach Federation who is also living with MS.

Throughout the course of the Everyday Matters program, Shawn, Kristen and Michelle will work hand‐in‐hand with five individuals affected by MS from across the country as they map out strategies for achieving a specific goal or addressing a specific challenge in their everyday life.

How do you become one of the lucky FIVE to work with Shawn, Kristen and Michelle?

Beginning now through June 13, 2012, interested individuals can visit to submit their stories for consideration by the Everyday Matters team, or vote on the challenge, topic or goal that is most important to them.

Participants are asked to share a particular “everyday” challenge they would like to overcome or a goal they want to achieve.  Stories can be shared through video or text and photos. All story submissions will be eligible for consideration for a personal coaching opportunity with the Everyday Matters team.

Five participants, each representing a different challenge or goal, will be selected to attend a weekend workshop with the team in Denver, Colorado from July 13 – 15, 2012, and will receive six months of personal coaching from Michelle. Each participant’s journey will come to life through a video series produced by Kristen and showcased on the website.

The most important criteria for participant selection will be the interest shown by people in the MS community, who are invited to go to the site and vote on the topics, issues and challenges that are most important to them in their own lives. As the title implies, this program is about facing the “everyday matters” of life with MS and sharing what you have learned with the entire MS community.

I will be talking with Kristen next week regarding the program.  if you have any specific questions you’d like me to ask, please leave them in the comment section below.

But don’t wait!!  Submit your stories, videos, or photos for consideration as the deadline quickly approaches.  Then as part of the MS community, be sure to vote on the topics which interest you the most.

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