World MS Day 2016: Independence is about... BALANCE #strongerthanMS

Do you know those jugglers who handle so many objects that you can’t even see most of them when they’re being tossed into the air? Likewise, we tend to take on too many activities, tasks, emotions at a time, risking that some might fall and hit us right on the head, making us go off balance. The juggler can’t sway too much on only one side, or it will make him lose sight of the objects on the other hand. Likewise, when we spend too much time doing certain things and we neglect others, we might stumble and fall. Not fall literally, just lose our focus, and need to repair the damage done.

But what is in fact this balance? It is defined as a state of equilibrium, a mental steadiness or emotional stability. It is the habit of having a calm behavior or judgement.

Multiple sclerosis is an internal imbalance between two major systems in the body: the nervous and the immune system. Balancing body, mind and spirit is essential. As humans, we tend to stop only when we feel something’s wrong. By that time, our bodies might be so out of tune that rest and care become mandatory to ensure our recovery or even survival.

Not all of us go through such hard times, but even if we do, they don’t last forever. The trick is to become mindful of the choices we make on a daily basis. This is learned with time, through constant practice. Everyday, begin noticing and adjusting the amount of food, movement and rest (sleep) that you have or do. In time, you’ll develop the ability of “hearing” what your body tells you, or asks you to give it. You’ll feel it when it happens: a hunger or a feeling full (not stuffed) sensation, the need to stretch even if you can’t get up in some cases (the body craves movement), a yawn when you need sleep. After repeating behaviors over and over, the brain learns a habit by creating new neural connections for that activity or thought. Trust me, you’ll know.

I like what Arianna Huffington says in an interview with Chase Jarvis, referring to the comparison between our phone’s burnout and ours. Nowadays, we take more care of our smartphones; constantly checking the battery level and making sure it will never get into any kind of trouble, otherwise it will malfunction, or the battery will die.

Basically what I’m telling you here goes back to common sense: eat moderately and healthy, move the body to get the blood flowing and oxygenized and go to sleep to recharge and lessen those fatigue outbursts that we as MSers tend to have. Juggle the essential tasks and discard the rest. Batch the similar ones. Simplify, create systems and routines that make it all easier for you.

Balancing what’s important to our bodies and minds will help us live a more healthy and independent lifestyle, given our current conditions. Last but not least, it’s about emotional balance too. Bad thoughts will come, we’ll get scared by a nasty symptom or relapse, but life goes on, and all is transitory. Worrying is useless. We need to accept what’s happening, find ways to adapt and overcome our situation.

The mind and body are connected. One influences the other. For example, the mind could go on rambling over and over. If the body feels tired, that’s the signal telling us to rest. Finish whatever we’re doing (or pause it) and rest. We’re not machines, but human beings. We need balance.

MS doesn’t stop mefrom being a balanced person. #strongerthanMS

The rest of May is enough time to go deeper into what it takes to become independent: body, mind and spirit. To become the architect of your wished lifestyle. To become #strongerthanMS.

Until then, I thank you for being here. Liked this post? Share it with friends. Want to receive more articles like this right into your inbox? Add your email to the SMart Choosers list HERE. You’ll receive every new article and a monthly Newsletter of wonderful resources and insight, to help you make the smart choices that best fit your lifestyle.

Sincerely yours,

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