It is impossible to find someone with MS who can claim to never have experienced stress. You can avoid situations which cause stress, but you can’t completely throw it out from your life. However, one can learn to manage it.
If you have a chronic disease like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), stress management becomes a necessity. It is helpful to know the warning signs which signal it. Along with this, we will advise some easy ways to keep any negative emotions under control. These tips will help you manage stress and live a healthy life with MS.
Stress and anxiety worsen MS
Multiple Sclerosis brings uncertainty, and this welcomes fear… fear of the unknown, fear of what the person will experience next. This fear is termed as anxiety. Stress and anxiety have a tendency to worsen the disease. The patient must learn to manage both of these feelings. Stress is very likely to cause fatigue which will negatively affect the life of the MSer.
A study has shown that stress is one of the common triggering factors of MS flare-ups and can impact the course of the disease. It can also lead to confusion and depression, a common MS symptom. Stress can also take away your sleep. It is essential for people with MS to have enough sleep. Lack of sleep is another trigger of MS symptoms. You can follow these tips to get rid of your MS symptoms.
Warning signs of Stress
Stress gives several warning signs when stress is on its way. These signals may by physical and emotional.
- Stooped posture
- Sweaty palms
- Weight gain or loss because you either start eating too much or stop doing so
- Get angry easily
- Find it hard to concentrate
- Feel worried
- Become sad
- Have frequent mood swings
You’ll have to follow these tips before stress strikes, in order to reduce it and to relax yourself:
Before Stress Hits in
Avoidance – It is best to avoid situations and people that cause stress. However, it is not possible to completely avoid every negative happening and person around you, especially if that someone is one of your close relatives, but try to do so to the maximum extent possible.
Use the following methods to help reduce stress:
Deep Breathing – Deep breathing is the best way to bring more oxygen into your brain. When you are stressed, notice that you begin shallow breathing. As a result, your brain receives less oxygen. Deep breathing gives more oxygen to your brain, and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Breathing, or deep breathing, is the best way to lower stress levels. The best thing about deep breathing is that it is available for free for everyone without any limitation.
Practice this exercise 20 to 30 minutes every day, and when you feel you are beginning to stress out, do the following:
- Inhale through your nose
- Breathe deeply from the diaphragm. In this type of breathing, your stomach expands more than your chest
- Exhale through your mouth
- Do not think about anything and empty your head for a few minutes. Just focus on your breathing
Relax your muscles – Roll your shoulders in forward and backward movement 5 to 10 times. Relax each and every muscle of your body.
Rotate you head slowly two times in clockwise and counter clockwise directions.
Also change your lifestyle and follow these tips:
- Delegate some tasks if there are too many of them.
- If you didn’t meet each and every goal you had set, it is okay! Don’t push too hard.
- An MS patient must put himself or herself first. So, learn to say ‘NO.’
- Do not set unrealistic standards and difficult goals that you can’t reach. You are not super-human!
- Take good care of your diet, exercise, and sleep.
- Stay away from soap operas and news as they sensationalize and stimulate your emotions.
Manage stress to live a healthy life with Multiple Sclerosis because that is best for you.
If you have any tips to manage stress with MS, share them with us in the comments below.