According to the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, about 2.3 million people worldwide are affected by the degenerative, autoimmune disease MS. These people are in varying stages and types of the disease, but the one thing that they have in common is nerve damage that results in difficulty with physical movement. Many people with the disease believe that stress makes their condition worse. However, medical researchers have not found a direct link between stress and increased MS related immune system responses. The research problem may arise from the differences in the way people deal with situations considered stressful. Whether there is a direct relationship between stress and increased MS immune response or not, the researchers point out that MS sufferers reportedly feel worse when exposed to undue amounts of stress. Here are some stress reduction techniques that have proven effective enough for endorsement by health experts.
Stop Stressing About Stress
Many people have excellent coping mechanisms for all types of seemingly stressful situations. In fact, stress is actually a normal protective measure that the body uses to secrete an anti-inflammatory substance that would actually stand to benefit MS sufferers if not for the reported decrease in the substance soon after it is secreted into the body. Researchers suggest taking one's mind from thinking about how one's MS is impacted by a stressful event through practices like meditation and prayer.
Learn a New Thinking Pattern
The negative thinking patterns developed over a lifetime in many people serve to increase the stress that makes MS feel worse. These negative thought patterns include believing that a lack of perfection equals total failure, believing that the worst is going to happen always, and thoughts that one should but likely will not be treated fairly. There is hope for turning this stressful situation around, and it begins with learning a new thought pattern.
Release Anger and Resentment
Harboring anger and resentment is a sure way of hanging on to stress that takes the form of irritability and a feeling of helplessness. These feelings are the lenses through which one views all life's activities. When one breaks free of these harmful reactions after holding them for so long, then comes true freedom and happiness. One way to release anger is to confess that one is angry verbally and simply let it go without placing blame on others.
People respond to situations in different ways, and some of those ways produce stress. However, one can learn how to turn off the stress switch long enough to return to some degree of normalcy. The answer is often rooted in a person's thought pattern.