Meditation is a key element of the OMS program which can have significant benefits for your mental health and daily life by relieving stress levels, improving sleep, concentration and focus. This is particularly useful for those with MS because when we are stressed, our body triggers the release of certain hormones that cause inflammation. This can even trigger MS relapses and make MS symptoms worse. Meditation and mindfulness can help control feelings of stress, and can even improve fatigue and reduce risk of depression.
By helping you to intentionally focus your attention away from thoughts about the past or future, and towards what is happening in the present moment, meditation encourages you to appreciate what is important without the distraction of fear and stress-based emotions that typically take up a lot of space in our minds day-to-day.
We provide free guided meditations to help get you started on your meditation journey, including simple instructions to help you reach a calmer mindset. In addition to its positive impact on mental health, another benefit of meditation is that it can be adapted depending on the time you have available and what you want to get out of it. Therefore, although we recommend at least 30 minutes of meditation a day, this is flexible depending on your personal requirements and situation.
The importance of meditation
Meditation for MS
Meditation is one of the central elements of the OMS program and an important means of managing the effects of stress on the body. We recommend 30 minutes of meditation everyday. This can be done in one 30 minute sitting, or if you find it easier, you can do multiple, smaller sessions, eg: 10 minutes, three times per day.
The Mind-Body connection
In today’s highly medicalized world, many of us – doctors included – sometimes forget that the mind has a tremendous ability to heal the body. How illness affects you depends on your reaction to it and your emotional state.
MS and mindfulness
Scientific research into MS and mindfulness proves the benefits of introducing mindful meditation into your daily routine to help manage stress and pain, which is why it is a vital part of the OMS program.
Stress and MS
Stress is an inevitable part of modern life. It has been shown to contribute to a long list of health problems such as chest pain, headaches, insomnia, stomach problems and a suppressed immune system with more frequent infections. Studies show that negatively experiencing stress can affect MS relapses and worsen MS symptoms.
We have lots of helpful pages and blog posts that cover meditation and its importance - here we have picked out some of the most useful pages to help you with adopting this lifestyle change. This includes answers to frequently asked questions, free guided meditations, recommended meditation apps and 'Building a daily meditation practice' podcast episode.
The importance of reducing stress
Although it's simply not possible to avoid stressful life events, there are ways that you can learn to deal with stress so that you prevent MS relapses. Scientists have discovered that stress management techniques can significantly reduce lesions and MS relapses. Read tips and suggestions from the OMS community.
6 tips for beginning meditation
Meditation is personal and individual - your experiences cannot be compared to those of others. Yes, you may have bad days but the beauty of meditation lies in the journey and the regular benefits that practice yields, not reaching an end goal of perfection. Here are six tips for starting out.
Monthly Meditation Plan
Our monthly meditation plan guide gives you 30 guided meditations from the OMS community that can help you get started, and all of them are available for free online. Each day of the plan offers you a new guided meditation to listen to with all the guided meditations written by fellow OMSers.
Mindfulness, Meditation And Overcoming MS
Dr Craig Hassed talks about the long-term physiological effects of mindfulness and meditation, both of which are important parts of the OMS Program.