Bookmark this page! Why? Because in this column, I’ll give you three techniques to help manage your anxiety.
Feeling anxious or stressed is our brain’s mechanism to prepare the body for a potentially harmful threat. The brain releases a surge of chemicals to prepare the body for going into what’s called a “fight-or-flight“ response. This response is meant to save our life when we are in danger.
However, most of the time, we’re not actually in physical danger. Rather, the danger is perceived. So how do we override this response by the brain and reduce anxiety? We must change our way of thinking and our physiology.
What effect does anxiety have on our bodies? The released chemicals change our physiology. Blood vessels tighten, our heart pumps faster, and breathing is shallower, to name a few.
How does anxiety affect someone with MS? Stress makes our bodies work harder, increasing fatigue and exacerbating other symptoms.
Here’s how we hack our brain to avoid this:
- Question whether the thing you’re anxious about is in your control. Most often, we don’t have control over the things that are worrying us.
I know that when I was a newly diagnosed 22-year-old with MS, I used to worry like crazy about the future and what my life would be like with this illness.
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