Having MS is never a good thing, but did you know that stressing about this, or in fact any other negative thing in your life won’t help you and can in fact make things much worse. Experiments have been done about this, see here showing that negative stress can make getting a relapse more likely, while good things, though perhaps giving stress, but in a good way, can reduce the likelihood. So events such as a new baby in the family or a wedding, which can be stressful, but in good ways that are fine in relation to MS. They won’t (or shouldn’t) bring on a relapse, where negative stressors might.
Learning coping skills so that you know how to better handle stress is a valuable thing to do. Thinks like Mindfulness, Meditation, and Exercise can all help with Stress Management, leading to a calmer mind, and fewer lesions – both excellent things. Being with Nature, looking at swaying trees, and clouds as they pass by overhead, these things can bring a gentle contentment to a person, and are free!
Having MS can be stressful itself, of course. No-one wants to have a chronic illness with no cure, at the moment. There are ways to lessen the load though. Eating a good nutritional diet, exercise, being involved with other people in non-stressful ways, these are good things for everyone and especially for those of us with MS.
Being involved with other people who have MS is a good way to find other people who truly understand your MS life. There are many peer support groups that are connected with the MS Society in various states in Australia, and I’m sure the MS Society in other countries would have the same. When you finally find people who are living with some of the same issues as you, it can help you to feel less alone. Our family and friends may try to understand, but as they say – If you don’t get it, you’ll never really ‘get’ it.
So best of luck to everyone living with MS, and if you have any tips for remaining stress-free, please share them in the comments here!