Debilitating Factors you should avoid

Stress is often considered to be a good thing; it gets the adrenalin flowing, it sharpens the senses and leaves you feeling alive and invigorated. All this is probably true if you don’t have Multiple Sclerosis BUT, if you do, then it is a very different matter.

MS is a debilitating disease the symptoms of which, with many individuals, worsen when exposed to a stressful environment. That stressful environment could be anything from a delivery man coming to the door to a busy airport when you are late for your departure. The level of impact on your MS is likely to be directly proportional the level of stress you are subjected to. But, as with all things MS, it will vary from one person to another.

Is stress always caused by external factors? With any chronic condition like MS, the answer is a resounding NO! MS can induce chronic pain, fatigue and/or poor mobility. All of these scenarios are wearing and the strongest willed individual will succumb to the relentless nature of these impediments.

What can be done to minimise the effects of stress? In the case of external factors it is simply to reduce the sources of frustration and anxiety. Avoid arguments, children having tantrums, last-minute shopping and ill-organised travel. Be prepared; plan your day to suit your circumstances, manage your time effectively and take your time. Don’t listen to upsetting news, do listen to relaxing music.

The chronic pain, fatigue and mobility are harder to address. Some chronic pain can be managed with prescription medications; talk to your medical practitioner. Fatigue can only be overcome with rest and careful time-management. There are many mobility devices that can assist you with getting about. Don’t be afraid to use them. There is much stigma attached to using wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Don’t allow it to prevent you living your life. Anyone who treats you in a poor manner is small-minded and not worthy of your consideration.

Stress can be a vicious cycle; one cause of anxiety leading to another making it very difficult for you to relax which you must do. Family and friends are critical in understanding this and helping you to find a way to make it work. You will be surprised how much of a difference to your well being can be made by finding a way to remove stress and just relax.

Meditation can be a wonderful tool to help optimise your state-of-mind. Even if you are not sure where to start; just take 5 or 10 minutes to sit in a quiet room with nothing but your thoughts and relax. Turn off the radio, turn off the TV and chill! Find your inner peace and begin your journey pf recuperation.