Have you ever had MS moments of emotional intensity, and realized it was an “MS Moment” either during or after your “moment”? If so, join the club!
One of the benefits/side effects of a regular personal yoga practice is that one becomes very aware of oneself – physically, mentally, and emotionally. (Spiritually too, but that’s a discussion for another day. As I have incorporated daily yoga practice into my life, I myself have become more aware not only of the many nuances within my body, but also of my cognitive state at any time – including emotional responses. What have I learned? Well – for one thing, if I am extremely fatigued, I am much more easily manipulated into ordering out for Pizza by my teen sons!
In all seriousness though, emotional responses can be huge with MS. I recall that my mother would have periods of intense focus – nagging to the point of reducing one to tears in her emotional excess. These were bouts that came unexpectedly and suddenly. Once she slept, the bouts stopped. If she became over-fatigued, the bouts re-appeared.
For myself, I have noted that, while high positivity and a generally joyful & outgoing outlook are very much my norm, I can find myself hurting emotionally for reasons not always clear, even to myself. Sometimes, it is very easy to pin-point the source as just my own internal “stuff of life”. Sometimes I can easily pin-point the source as being outside of me, reacting to someone else’s “stuff of life”. Sometimes, my emotional reaction to something that happens or something someone says or does can be one of deep melancholy – but for no obvious reason. For example, I found myself crying as I fell asleep last night. Why? I am not really sure at the moment – but I was very fatigued, headachey, and in a fair amount of pain, and I was reacting to something. I woke up, still feeling periods of weepiness, for no clear reason. Those are the times that I have learned to sit back, breathe, center myself, and try to focus on being the witness to my life, unemotionally fitting the pieces of the puzzle together where I can, and not letting my own personal emotional state impact on those around me, and vice-versa. That’s where the scientist in me comes in very handy – cataloging information, seeking patterns, and generally managing this thing called “Life with MS”.
Yoga comes in here. The beauty of yoga is that it can help you find the peace and calm that MS may inadvertenly stir up on any given day. So, how did I handle my emotionality? I did my favorite yoga practice, a slow burn yoga, allowing me to literally twist and stretch the kinks out, both physically and emotionally, re-centering and re-aligning myself. Side-effects: Internal peace and my work-day became super-productive! You can’t beat that!