Mindfulness, relaxation and meditation are increasingly popular techniques used to gain greater control over the brain. Mindfulness has many positive benefits for people with MS and can help manage the effects of stress and daily life.
Mindfulness is the art of ‘being present’ or in the moment. It combines attention, body awareness and emotional regulation to help create a different perspective of oneself. Mindfulness is just one form of mediation, with other styles based on the breath, a mantra, or on readings or prayer. Learning mindfulness skills and techniques lead to greater control over what the mind is doing and can help you regulate your attention and emotions and calm your conscious mind.
For people with MS, mindfulness has been shown to have the following benefits:
The benefits of mindfulness are increasingly supported by science, as more research and studies are undertaken. A research study* was undertaken by MS Queensland and the University of Queensland in 2016 where people with MS participated in a brief community-based mindfulness program. The results of the study showed that participation in the program was associated with decreases in distress and perceived stress, and increases in self-compassion, acceptance, coping skills and mindfulness.
*Source: Evaluation of a brief community-based mindfulness intervention for people with multiple sclerosis: A pilot study. Elizabeth Spitzer and Kenneth I Pakenham 2016
MS Queensland runs free ‘Mindfulness for MS’ workshops, a group program where you will learn mindfulness skills to help you manage your day to day living. Previous participants have reported that they feel less anxious, manage pain better and sleep well.
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