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Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
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Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center

Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center
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Multiple Sclerosis Institute
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Timothy L. Vollmer M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center

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Five Ways To Help You Feel Less Overwhelmed With MS And Stress

By Cathy Chester

After listing our house to sell over two years ago it finally sold. Before I go on let me say that moving is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I love the dream home we built. I was pregnant when we purchased the land and we began building our accessible ranch.

Surrounded by woods, with wall-to-wall windows in our great room, we’ve been privileged and blessed to watch nature 24/7 in all its glory.

It’s the house where our son grew up, where we had birthday parties and holiday celebrations and laughter and tears. It’s also where we adopted our first cats.

It’s the house my father planted 16 Chinese peony plants along our driveway because he wanted his daughter to be surrounded by beauty.

But it’s time to move and it’s breaking my heart. I know I’ve been blessed to live here for 22 years, but I can’t get past the fact that I’ll never live here again.

I’ve become my own worst enemy; I can’t let go.

The anxiety, heartache and sadness I feel is causing my legs to tingle and my fatigue to be my constant companion. I feel as if I’m teetering between despair and depression and I’m scared of the ride. To make matters worse we don’t have a home to move to, and the search has been stressful.

What do you do when your emotions spin out-of-control?

Negative emotions can cause illness. According to the website

“Modern science confirms what most of us know: negative emotions can make you ill. The neurotransmitters that fire in the brain also connect with hormones, immune cells and organs, contributing to disease and poor health. However, the news is not all bad. Just as negative emotions and attitudes can create disease, positive emotions and uplifting thoughts are able to create good health.”

I am trying my best to feel better. My MS is screaming at me to do it as fast as I can. So here are a few ways I’m trying to kick my emotions back into shape:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: My gentle yoga class grounds me spiritually and I feel more balanced emotionally and physically. Without realizing it I’m leaning on lessons I’ve learned in class. They help me tolerate the difficulties of the outside world. Stand tall, focus on your breathing, find your inner peace and always be kind to yourself.

I’ve learned to breathe in on the count of 4 and out on the count of 8. I’ve learned that as I breathe I need to focus on mantras such as the word “Om” or “Ham Sah” to help clear my mind of any clutter. Meditation can alleviate stress, improve concentration, increase happiness and improve overall immune health.

Instead of taking more medications I take several supplements that may curb feelings of anxiety or situational depression: SAMe (enteric coated, 400 mg/day), L-Theanine (on an empty stomach) and Holy Basil (after a meal.) Take a look at what Dr. Andrew Weil says about emotional health and natural depression treatments. Speak with your doctor before using any supplements. What I take may not be right for you.

Do the Best You Can
As I said with my yoga mantra, be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can. Life can be difficult and with MS it is even harder.

Reaching Out
I don’t know what I would do without my husband and son. They are my best friends and love me unconditionally. I also turn to my dearest friends for heart-to-heart chats. I’ve gone back to therapy. There is absolutely no shame in that. Finding the right psychologist is key to creating part of your wellness team. They are there to help you through the rough patches of life. Since I am Medicare, with no secondary insurance, I was blessed to find someone who is both excellent and accepts whatever Medicare pays her. She is a godsend.

Life is all about ups and downs and multiple sclerosis is all about unpredictability. We need to do whatever it takes to help us stay as strong as we can. Namaste.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by MULTIPLESCLEROSIS.NET
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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