No matter what the self-help gurus say, nobody ever completely eliminates stress from their lives. It’s just a part of our daily path, as we make decisions that can be difficult and deal with challenging situations. But how we handle the stress we encounter makes a world of difference in our overall health and wellbeing.
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it helps to talk to a professional who can help identify ways to live a more serene life. A psychologist or social worker may help to develop a stress management program tailored for you. Here are some good tools that they might recommend:
- Identify the causes of your stress and help you share your thoughts and fears
- Relaxation and meditation techniques
- Setting priorities
- Simplifying chores
- Sharing responsibilities with loved ones or caregivers
- Managing your time more effectively
- Conserving your energy
- Learning how to ask for help when you need it
- Staying physically active
- Understanding and accepting the things you can change and those you can’t
- Feeling gratitude
- Maintaining a sense of humor
When looking for help with stress, start by asking your healthcare team. They have access to all sorts of specialists and can probably give you a few choices. You might also want to talk to other people with MS to see who they have used for help in dealing with MS stress.
Once you get a few professional names, phone the office and ask to speak to them before you make an appointment. Sometimes you have chemistry with someone right away, even through just a phone call, and other times you’ll not get that sense of connection that you’ll need to work well with your stress specialist. So take charge of your stress and find someone to talk it out with – it may help you feel better.