“Thanks to MS, my life is ruined”, “what will people think of me?”, “Look at me, what have I become!”
If these negative thoughts enter your brain then you’re not alone. Majority of people with MS have similar ideas.
It is not unnatural for people with a chronic disease, like Multiple Sclerosis, to have a poor body image. MS is powerful enough to distort your feelings about your body image, but you can do a lot to improve those emotions.
Amy Sullivan, PsyD, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center, Ohio, says, “I’ve been in practice with MS patients for seven years, and I’ve only met a few who haven’t been affected with body image issues.”
A study published in September 2011 in Acta neurologica Scandinavica assessed body image problems in people with MS. Pointing to that study, Sullivan continued to say,
“MS patients who were mildly disabled reported significantly higher worries about their physical deficits and described a significantly worse body appraisal and significantly more sexual problems (than those without MS).“
In this article, we will briefly describe 10 ways to improve your body image or self-Image when you have Multiple Sclerosis.
What's in this article...
Focus on your strengths
You should give more priority to what you can do, instead of the disabilities you have and on the limits those impose on you. An individual with positive self-image doesn’t corrupt themselves. Talk great with yourself in your head.
Ignore the unrealistic portray of beauty by the media
What vast majority of people believed was the standard of beauty few decades ago is not the symbol of charm, anymore. Most of the images you see in the media are photoshopped. A beauty expert is not required for make-up, anymore, and it can easily be done with a software. Google the before and after images of beauty models and you’ll notice a clear difference.
Amy Sullivan advices MS patients to avoid media. According to her the outlets present unrealistic images of men and women. She says,
“I’ve heard we’re exposed to more than 3,000 images per day that influence how we feel about ourselves….a lot of these images of people have been photoshopped, and it’s important we pull our self-worth from other places than the media.“
Create an identity outside of MS
Don’t wrap MS around yourself. Do not have it over your head. Create an identity outside of that disease. According to Sullivan, doing so will boost your self-esteem.
Have a purpose in your life.
It’s Important to have a clear objective in life. A person without any purpose is like a wandering ship. Some peole know their reason to live, and they are aware of why we humans are on this earth. But many have forgotten the fact that humans are here to live for the afterlife.
Sullivan’s viewpoint about life’s purpose is, “Developing significant purpose and meaning is important in terms of mood and of disconnecting from the disease itself and not making MS all about your identity.”
Locate the great in you!
Whenever you look in the mirror, don’t care for what you see. Attempt to discover one positive thing in you. It doesn’t need to be a physical one either. It tends to be something as straightforward as how good cook you are.
Say motivating and powerful words to yourself, such as, “Hey, that breakfast was delicious; you totally rocked at cooking breakfast today; I’m proud of you.”
Take Good Care of Your Body and Mind:
Don’t forget to check out our previous articles on wellness and peaceful body and mind. We have written a lot on this topic.
Relax yourself in every situation as stress lowers your self-esteem which results in poor body image. “We know that there’s a strong mind-body connection, and those who have a positive outlook have stronger physical health,” Sullivan says.
We give you one more tip which will help you feel better about yourself. Wash your face gently similar to the way a facialist would.
Sullivan speaks our point of view over what can you do to take care of yourself for improved body-image. In the words of Sullivan, “… have a positive relationship with health and well-being. Going to your doctor appointments, taking your medication, exercising, and eating well can all make you feel like you’re doing all you can to be your healthiest.“
Exercise for a nice physic
Having a nice body can be made conceivable by working out. Physical action is helpful for your brain. It will likewise give you a decent looking body. You can read our past posts on advantages of activity and some activity we prescribe for MSers.
Express Your Unique Personal Style
You’ve accepted that you have MS. Now what, you ask? Don’t just accept it, embrace the disease. make your own style and stop doing things the way everyone else do,
Sullivan points out a long-term patient of hers who says she “accessorizes with her cane.”
- “She changes her cane to match every single outfit that she has,” says Sullivan. “And a lot of patients are sad because they can no longer wear heels because of balance issues or weakness. However, I have a patient who wears flats when walking, but she carries her heels with her. When she gets to her location and sits down, she puts on the heels.”
Jamie Gibbs, a host on MS and Me Radio Network who was diagnosed with MS in 2009. felt the need of canes because her mobility was affected. She refused to take canes. Read the reason in and what she did in her own words, “Eventually, I was tired of ignoring that I needed it, so I found the coolest cane I could. It’s carved and unique and strange like me, and I decided to just rock it.”
Avoid internet based life and unreasonable desires
On the internet, many times you begin being sucked into taking a gander at profiles of superbly assembled individuals with their perfect lives and bodies, Clearly understand that it is not time it is now time to shut off the computer/smartphone and do something else.
These individuals are not demonstrating their terrible days. They are unreasonable. And it is thus, a bad idea to think about those people and their lives. You’ll just worsen your disease if you do so.
Don’t push too hard to be perfect.
This point is of utmost importance.
Live a healthy life with cool mind and healthy body. Don’t try to be crystal perfect, you can fail and fall into the traps of depression.
When you avopid perfectionism, you avoid stress!
Treat MS as a blessing from Allah SWT. MS allows you to care for yourself; embrace your identity; and appreciate the gifts Allah SWT has Blessed you with.