How To Silence Your Ego & Get Your Joy Of Living Back

Remember the moment the doctor told you that you have multiple sclerosis. Your entire world collapsed, right? You thought that your life was over then and there and that nothing else mattered. Probably the voice inside your head still shuts you down from the world outside, keeping you away from new experiences and positive emotions. That’s just your Ego telling you to survive. Let’s see how you can tame it and get your joy of living back.

What Is The Ego And What Does It Want From You?
The Ego is that part of your psyche that thinks about itself to be all-powerfull. You are probably thinking “what is she talking about? what is this woo-woo things she writes?”. But the Ego is just that: the conscious feeling you have of being alive and of being yourself. The Ego is just all your knowledge, your lessons learned, all the things that people told you from an early age untill now. It is how you see yourself in the mirror when you wake up. It sums up what you think about yourself to be true, and what you learned along the way.

A chronic illness diagnosis is a new and scary thing to live with. We are all scared of what we don’t know and we react to that with fear and anxiety. No matter how we try to rethink it, our Ego steps in the way and pulls the alarm system: “you need to survive this!”.

Think of the Ego as the little voice you hear in your head throughout the day. It’s that voice telling you that you’d better stay indoors today, as your energy is low and you can’t do much. It tries to trick you into staying into the comfort zone.

Lifestyle Shift
Change has never been easy or quick. Adapting to life’s new challenges takes time and practice. By not doing something to regain control, your mind will always be slowly whispering “you need to survive this!”, keeping you in a state of anxiety, fear and anger. There are so many ways these three things are damaging for you. To summarize it, I need to say that in order to survive this, you need to shake them off.

How do you do this? With patience and repetition. You challenge yourself daily. You set goals for yourself. You express a purpose to motivate you in living the life you need to live in order to survive. Let’s make peace with your Ego. I’ll help you with this, I’ve been there!

The “real you” is beyond the Ego. It’s that strenght you find when you think none is left. It’s that gut feeling you experience just before you take a decision. It’s that part of you that feels good when receiving a hug. The real you commands your Ego. It all begins with quieting the mind. It begins with standing still and allowing yourself to JUST BE. Breathe and explore how it feels to be in your body, how do you feel, how do you think, etc. Every day.

Educate Yourself
First things first: educate yourself on your condition. Find out what your symptoms are and what triggers them. Then start to minimize as much as possible the situations that get you in those states. Knowledge is indeed power, and as long as you are informed, you’ll gain power over your MS and considerably reduce the fear of the unknown.

Relax & Take It Slow
Second thing is to take it slow. Life can be hectic nowadays. We are all busy, we all want fast ways or tricks to deal with different situations. Well, I have news for you: MS doesn’t like being hurried. It feeds on stress, on exhaustion and overdrive. Learn how and what to do to relax.

This might be different from person to person. I personally learned yoga, meditation and daily journaling help me deal with my daily challenges. For you it might be speding a relaxing evening with your family or talking slow walks before dinner, maybe listening to your favourite songs. We are all different and different things work better for each and every one of us. Just try whatever fits your lifestyle and be persistent.

Have An Active Lifestyle
Third thing is to stay active. It’s one of the most important things you’ll ever do for your body and your health.

What happens in MS? Your body gets disconnected from your brain, making you unable to use movement. Why are you trying to help MS get it’s way?

Get up off the couch/chair/bed and MOVE! Even if you are bound to a wheelchair you CAN move. Do whatever you can in order to be active every day. A little goes a long way. Through daily repetitions and exercise, your body will slowly regain strenght, as your brain might begin to establish new or alternative connections to help you execute the things you want to do with your body.

I myself have days when I feel so fatigued that I don’t have the mood or energy for doing any of this. But I still make myself get up, stretch, breathe deeply and use my body in one way or another. There is a saying: “use it or lose it!”. Scary, but true! So go an move. Get up and walk, run if you can. Do whatever you can, but DON’T STOP MO-VING!

Have A Healthy Diet
The fourth thing and the second most important one in your daily lifestyle is nutrition. What you eat is fundamentally important when facing a chronic illness, especially MS! Choose healthy and foods, cook meals that keep the ingredients as close to their natural state as possible. Avoid toxins, packaged snacks and sweets. Avoid all that can damage your body chemistry.

Again, how does MS work? It attacks your myelin thinking it is a foreign body. Myelin is a type of fatty protein that insulates your axons. The food you eat can be natural, helping your body have all the nutrients that make it work better, or… It can be sugary, processed and inflammatory, confusing your body into not knowing which protein is good or not anymore… what is natural and what is not, what needs to be accepted and what needs to be destroyed… And so your MS attacks once more, making your immune system destroy myelin.

A confused body makes chronic illnesses worse. We eat food to fuel our actions and grow a healthy body. We should not eat food just because it’s more available and because we got used to it.

The lifestyle you led up to this point made your body feel bad. Why continue doing the same things, hoping you’ll get different results? That’s insane!

I personally cut out all white flours (wheat, rye, oats, etc), all dairy, all refined sugars, all packaged foods (processed, canned). It’s not easy, I know, but your body will thank you for it. Trust me!

Rest & Let Your Body Recover
The fifth but not the least important is SLEEP! Leting your body rest is vital to your wellbeing. During the time you are sleeping, you heal. Information accumulated throughout the day is fixated in your long term memory, hormones are balanced, organs get toxins flushed out and most of all YOUR BRAIN TAKES A REST!

Taking care of your brain is essential in MS. Sleeping is for relaxing it as cross-word puzzles  and reading are for exercising it. From my experience, I recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night. I know our lives can be busy and things need to get done. But without rest and keeping your energy levels up high the next day, we won’t be able to do much and will probably find ourselves in a viscious circle of fatigue and frustration.

I found that the better and longer I sleep, the more focused and energetic I am throughout the day. Feeling tired midday? NAP or rest for 5-10 minutes with your eyes closed (maybe during your lunch hour at work).

Wrapping Things Up!
Do whatever things are necessary in order to get back control over your life. In order to get the joy of living back. Your Ego is going to continue telling you that you need to survive, I’m not telling you that is gonna go away, but it’s going to do that less and less each day.

You are going to grow strong and feel more and more empowered by your new lifestyle. Your body will be healthier with each good and nutritious meal, with every workout, with every good rest it takes.

Untill the next post, keep making SMart Choices for your lifestyle with MS!

Yours truly,

P.S. Please let me know if you did any of these changes and how did they work for you and your condition. Share your answers on Facebook, Twitter (hashtag: #SMartMS) or write me an email at Thank you for reading!