Why Do You Need to Embrace Change? A Letter to Young MSers

I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again: our entire life is made out of choices. The fact that you’re reading this post is a choice you’ve made. Everyday, we make dozens of decisions, selections. We choose, choose, choose.

With each one, our life changes. For most of the times, we decide to do or not to do something because of the impact it might have on our future. Outcome matters the most in choice. Change is the only certainty we have. The smartest choice in this case is to adapt to our present life. Accept it and embrace change with all that it has to offer.

In MS, our bodies can go through rapid transformations. We are OK now and can be unwell tomorrow. The degree of uncertainty is high and we all had to deal with it at certain points. Wanting to keep things a certain shape is too rigid to be useful on the long run.

We tend to hold on tight to the things and situations that are familiar. We are afraid of the unknown. But here’s the thing. If change was bad for us and we could not adapt to new conditions, we wouldn’t have left the crib when we were babies.

Because we got out and explored the world, adapted and learned after each tumble and scar, day after day, year after year, we got this far. We embraced our lives as they were and we made changes when needed. Keep the same child-like wonder towards life, even if it all seems to go downhill and we feel like we’re losing control.

Stop. Breathe. Be calm. Relax every piece of our body. The best and as much as we can, we’re all different. Take a few minutes, days and even months to analyze the situation and figure out what we can and need to do next. Nothing is more important than our health and wellbeing.

"Stop. Breathe. Be calm."

STOP and analyze your current situation. How are you feeling? What can you still do well? What you need help with? What can you improve? What will make you feel better?

BREATHE. Close your eyes and take as many deep breaths as you need to feel your body relax. The tension, the stress and even fear only make the situation worse. Think about what your fears are. Then find at least 2-3 ways to make those situations better. What will you do to cope? To get better? To heal? Keep those in mind and then breathe deeply once more What will happen in the future is of no use now, you’ll get there at some point. The present situation needs more of your attention.

DO some of the actions that you thought will make you feel better for the time being. These might be some stretches, tea in bed, a nap, a movie / podcast, music, anything that makes you feel good in your own skin. Sleep is often times the best choice, plus it’s antiinflammatory. Use it as medicine.

ACCEPT where you’re at. EMBRACE your body. It is not a tool of the mind. It’s not here to only mechanically fulfill your demands. The brain and body are connected. Our minds will tell us that we can’t do certain things, they will try to convince us to stay away from other things. In the end, we can choose to try.

Train your mind to become flexible, to adapt to what the body needs at a certain moment. Of course, it will not be easy, but that’s not the point. We aim to learn, to transform our lives for the better. We can’t get it right from the first try. Growing takes time, takes sweat and powerful emotions. Choose to keep at it, continue and focus on getting better.

"We are not at war with ourselves."

It’s better to embrace change. It takes less energy than fighting it. We are not at war with ourselves. Be gentle, you’re already going through a lot, more stress will surely not make you feel any better. The harder you push, the more tired you’ll get. Why put on more weights to your body? It’s already trying to cope. Help it get better.

Our bodies are smart. Our brains are smart, although we might have lesions. We constantly learn from the experiences we have. You go through a rough time and focus only on the negatives? Your neurons will make more neuronal connections to support those negative experiences.

Reframe the bad ones for the good and soon, your brain will be able to see the bright side. I’m not talking about a flower-power kind of positivity, that makes you feel like you’re on LSD. Just a subtle process that allows you to focus on the blessings you still have, to be grateful for what you still can do. We are all different, so for some it might take longer, for others it will work quicker.

Stick to it. Make it a habit. Choose to do it everyday.

Teach yourself to get better by accepting the state you’re in at the moment. Use this as the rock-bottom that you begin to rebuild your body and your life from scratch. Help yourself heal.

What our reality looks like depends on what we focus our mids on. The brain sees it as a priority and works on fulfilling that plan. Accept your situation and move on. Make the choices that lead you to feeling better in your own skin.

As always, thank you for dropping by. Remember, transformation comes from within. Subscribe to receive SMart articles each weekday.


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