Problems in our day-to-day life, such as road rage or an argument at work, can trigger our ‘fight or flight’ instinct – this means higher blood pressure, heightened adrenaline and a pro-inflammatory immune system. However, if this happens too often, stress builds up, causing chronic inflammation and can cause damage to the body.
Meditation can reverse this process by calming the body and reducing stress. Indeed, when we meditate the frequency of our brain waves decreases, putting the mind in a calm state where it can heal itself more effectively.
Some of the core components of the Overcoming MS Recovery Program, such as diet, exercise, meditation and vitamin D exposure have a majorly positive impact on mental health.
Prescribed medication can also be an effective treatment, whilst stopping smoking, taking up therapy, getting a better sleep pattern and drawing support from those around us are all beneficial. A doctor will be able to personally analyse your mood and symptoms.
Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis can be a very stressful event in anyone’s life, and this stress can lead to further problems with mental health such as depression. In fact, at least 50% of people with MS will also experience some level of depression.
This can have a big effect on people’s lives, causing not only low mood but also exacerbating the physical symptoms of MS such as fatigue.
Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that focuses on remaining actively, purposely aware in the present moment without self-judgement or analysis. Practicing mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce feelings of stress and can combat symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Find out more about meditation:
There is no single way to meditate correctly and thus this question is quite difficult to answer. Most forms of meditation focus on quietening the mind by focusing one’s attention on something else such as the breath, a visualization, the body, a movement or simply the present moment.
Generally, if you are able to sit (or lie) quietly without getting lost in your thoughts or worries and if you feel calmer, happier or more at peace when you have finished, you are meditating well.
See our Meditation section for more information and guidance.