Mindfulness and MS
What is Mindfulness?
Definition of mind·ful·ness:
2. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Can mindfulness help us on our journey with MS?
Mindfulness was something first introduced to me while I was studying under my mentor, New York Times Best Selling Author, America’s #1 Success Coach, Jack Canfield. He taught me how to live my life with purpose, passion, clarity and to be mindful of everything around me. It was life changing for me and my journey with MS.
When I was studying personal growth/leadership development I wasn’t doing it hoping to find a way to help my MS. I was doing it for my own growth. At that time I didn’t understand the concept that the mind, body, and spirit are connected and if we want to heal our bodies from MS, we must focus on each of those areas to be successful. I started to wonder if mindfulness could help others in their journey with MS, too.
Why is mindfulness important in our journey with MS?
Many people with MS suffer from depression, fear, anxiety, insomnia, pain, and overwhelming stress. Each of these issues can be devastating to our health.
For years I’ve been searching for alternative ways for us to deal with each of those issues. When I say “alternatives,” I mean alternatives to drug therapy, which is what most MS Dr’s present to us immediately. It can end up meaning a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions that can actually make things worse.
Are there different ways to practice mindfulness?
1 – Being mindful – Going through your everyday functions and being present, engaged, aware and calm.
When I practice mindfulness throughout the day, it means being aware and grateful for everything – The sun, the rain, family, friends, my dogs, good things that happened in my day and even the challenges, too. It’s all about having the right perspective in any given situation good or bad and responding in a healthy, more positive way. I also do affirmations and journaling which keeps me focused on thinking the right way, which is so important, not only for all of us living with MS, but just in daily life.
2 – Mindful meditation – Meditation where you can focus on areas of the body in pain and releasing or separating yourself from that pain. You can focus on specific parts of the body and visualize it’s repair and healing (I have several MS friends that visualize their Myelin being restored over nerve endings throughout their body or picturing their MRI’s with less lesions). It can also be something as simple as deep breathing and just being in that moment of meditation.
The great thing about being mindful and mindfulness meditation is that everyone can do it and it can have lasting health benefits to us. In studies people that practiced mindfulness had an improved quality of life, and more positive and hopeful expectations. It also took away pain, stress, anxiety, depression and fear. Some hospitals now prescribe mindfulness meditation for patients dealing with pain. Check out MS & The Mind to learn more about its affects on our MS.
When you learn to practice mindfulness, you will have better coping strategies in stressful situations. We know stress can cause us to have an exacerbation or even cause new lesions, so we must do everything to ensure we are living stress free as much as possible.
Remember, our mind, body, and spirits are connected and we must focus on each area for healing. Mindfulness can be a very powerful way to start on our journey to health and healing!
For inspiration and great ideas on healthy living with MS, check out my new book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free” – It explores my almost 30 year journey living with MS and how I am now living symptom free, healthy, and thriving. On FB check out my MS Free For All page.
To learn more about healthy products and green technologies for your healthy lifestyle check out my business page – Healthy Solutions, Inc