Stress and Mindfulness

Stress is unfortunately inevitable. We all can experience stress in some form, and it can manifest itself into physical and further emotional distress as well. Multiple sclerosis patients especially can experience stress or anxiety when it comes to managing their diagnosis. Managing stress is important for MS patients to help prevent relapses and to strengthen their immune response.

“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Khalil Gibran

To better manage anxiety and stress, a great place to start is with our thoughts. Often, our thoughts and worries lead down a deeper hole of anxiety. Take a minute to think about the top stressors in your life right now. If your mind goes to the “what-if,” then begin to shift it to the “what can.” The “what-if” is what easily spirals our thoughts. Focusing on what can be done about it in the here and now is a more productive way of thinking. We also forget to think about what is the best thing that can happen!

Stay aware of the unhelpful thoughts and focus on the ones that bring your mind rest or motivate you to focus on the things you can control. It may be helpful to write down all your anxious thoughts on paper to help organize them.

Find helpful ways to help beat stress and anxiety. Meditating is a great way to slow your thoughts and bring your mind to ease. Spend time outdoors and reflect on some things you are thankful for, despite the stressors happening in life now. Exercise is a great way to boost your mood by releasing endorphins, as well as eating a healthy, well balanced meal.  

Listen to your body and try not to take on too much all at once. Set clear goals and boundaries, rather than crowding your mind with everything all at once! Be kind to your mind and allow yourself time to process and breathe.

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