Until then, we owe it to ourselves to keep our bodies in the best shape possible. Surprisingly, de-stressing is a huge part of this goal.
One study showed that stress doubles the risk of worsening MS symptoms (http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/news/20030918/stress-makes-ms-symptoms-worse). Research reports that psychological stress on the body's ability to regulate inflammation can promote the development and progression of disease (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162546.htm).
“You are not a weak person because you react negatively to stress," explains one psychologist (http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/stress-management/taming-stress.htm).
Here are some suggestions that I like. (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/StressManagement/FourWaystoDealWithStress/Four-Ways-to-Deal-with-Stress_UCM_307996_Article.jsp#.VpafHRUrLfA).
- Positive Self-Talk
Self-talk is one way to deal with stress. We all talk to ourselves. Self-talk is what we think to ourselves, not always consciously.
"I can't do this."
"I'll do the best I can."
"Everything is going wrong."
"I can handle things if I take one step at a time."
"I hate it when this happens."
"I know how to deal with this; I've done it before."
To help us feel better, we can practice positive self-talk every day — in the car, at our desk, before we go to bed or whenever we notice negative thoughts.
Here are positive statements some people use:
- "I've got this. I can deal with this."
- "I can get help if I need it."
- "We can work it out."
- "I won't let this problem get me down."
- "Things could be worse."
- "I'm human. We all make mistakes."
- "Someday I'll laugh about this."
Positive self-talk helps us relieve stress and deal with the situations that cause stress.
- Emergency Stress Stoppers
There are many stressful situations — even everyday hassles like standing in line. Emergency stress stoppers help us deal with stress on the spot.
Here are emergency stress stoppers. There are different stress stoppers for different situations and sometimes it helps to combine them.
- Count to 10 before you speak.
- Take three to five deep breaths.
- Walk away from the stressful situation, and say you'll handle it later.
- Go for a walk.
- Don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry" if you make a mistake.
- Set your watch five to 10 minutes ahead to avoid the stress of being late.
- Break down big problems into smaller parts. For example, answer one letter or phone call per day, instead of dealing with everything at once.
- Drive in the slow lane or avoid busy roads to help you stay calm while driving.
- Smell a rose, hug a loved one or smile at somebody.
- Find Pleasure
When stress makes us feel bad, we can do something that makes us feel good. Doing things we enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress.
We can try to do at least one thing every day that we enjoy, even if we only do it for 15 minutes.
- Start an art project.
- Take up a hobby, new or old.
- Read a favorite book, short story, magazine or newspaper.
- Have coffee or a meal with friends.
- Listen to music during or after practicing relaxation.
- Take a nature walk.
- Watch an old movie on TV.