All too many multiple sclerosis sufferers require stress management techniques at some point or another due to living day in and day out with a chronic, sometimes debilitating disease. You have good days but the uncertainty of what the next day will bring pain-wise can be enough to send your stress levels rising. Prolong stress can lead to a number of ailments like depression and can set off anger, hopelessness and aggravation.
People with MS are at a high risk of developing depression and it is no wonder because of the number of stress related things in their life from living with the pain to how you are going to manage getting to the store or even doing your job and earning a living. To cope with MS better, it is important to learn some effective stress management techniques to relax not only your body, but also your mind as well.
Understanding Stress and its Signs
When your entire being is under stress, it will manifest itself in three ways: through behavior, emotions and physical signs. Physically, you will experience more fatigue than normal as well as gain or lose weight. Your posture will slump and you might have sweating or tingling palms.
Emotionally, you will be quick to anger and you will discover that your ability to concentrate on the task at hand is almost nil. You will likely worry needlessly over unimportant matters and may feel sad without knowing exactly why. Also, your moods may resemble those of a manic depressive.
Behaviorally, you might act out, withdraw from friends and family, drink or use drugs when you dont normally do so to block out the physical and emotional stress signs and you might act impulsively.
Reducing those Stress Levels
Maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity is the best thing and the hardest thing you can do. Relinquish control on certain aspects of your life, like those that MS affects. Do not take the disease lying down but dont be aggressive or passive about it; rather be assertive and express yourself.
Eat a balanced diet, get some rest and sleep! You need all the energy possible to combat fatigue throughout the day, not to mention any other symptoms that may creep up along the way. Nix any stimulants or depressants as they are only a crutch. Exercise often as this will keep your body fit, build muscle strength and build reserves of energy you may need later during a relapse.
Most of all, learn relaxation methods to calm both your body and your psyche down. It may take some time to learn these relaxation methods but they will definitely provide balm for the body and soul.
Choose a quiet area free of distractions and sit or recline in a comfortable position. You want to be as loose physically as possible. Close your eyes and empty your mind of stressful thoughts about work, about your disease and even about changing the oil in your car. Right now, it is only about you and emptying all the negatively from your mind.
Deep breathing can be introduced into this relaxation exercise as well. Be attuned to your body. If you feel any tension, consciously focus on that problem and loosen up. Continue to breathe deeply as you shake off the bits of physical tension. Eventually, you will reach a state of relaxation more quickly as your mind becomes more attuned to your body. Being able to control your body and allow yourself to let go is part of how MS sufferers can alleviate pain.