A Healing Mindset

By Alene Brennan

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I immediately went into action in changing my diet. As a nutrition coach, it’s how I knew how to heal.

That approached served me well. It helped me to significantly reduce my symptoms – specifically brain fog and fatigue.

However, what I mistakenly overlooked was the way my mind affected my body. Mindset was equally as important – especially managing an illness that is prone to higher rates of depression and anxiety – yet I didn’t give it much thought.

The reality is negative thoughts and emotions can rob us of precious energy that is already a limited resource if you have MS.

A positive outlook on the other hand will lift our emotions and our energy.

This is many times easier said than done when you’re living with a chronic illness. Some days it can be really hard to find the positive. What I have found to be most helpful is looking for the small experiences that bring joy to my day.

I love starting my essential oil diffuser at night before I got to bed. The smell of lavender and frankincense fill the room and I know it’s time to snuggle into bed which is often a relief in and of itself.

I love the relief I experience after I’m showered for the day. It seems simple, but some days, it requires a lot of energy, but I love feeling so fresh and clean.

I love the moment I step outside and am reminded how good it feels to breathe in fresh air.

It doesn’t have to be big monumental things; it can be smaller steps. In fact, I believe those are the most important steps. They are the experiences that we’re likely to have a daily basis rather than waiting for the big moments.

These moments of gratitude can support help us to live more in the moment but find joy in our day. This has been one of the greatest gifts that MS has given me. It has forced me to slow day to acknowledge and appreciate the moments of each day.

Is there something that you’re especially grateful for in your day?

*Alene Brennan works with individuals living with MS and other autoimmune diseases to create a diet and lifestyle that will support their healing and disease management. She holds four certifications: nutrition coach, yoga instructor, personal trainer, and natural food chef. You can learn more about her work and follow her blog, recipes, and more at www.alenebrennan.com. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook, too!

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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