9 steps to a stress-free life with Parkinson’s

Health & Fitness

Author: Rosemarie WilsonPublished: 20 July 2016

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Rosemarie Wilson stress-free life

From choosing your friends carefully to always looking at the funny side of things, accredited life coach Rosemarie Wilson shares her expert advice on how to live stress free


In a situation that will sound familiar to many Parkinson’s patients, the bottom fell out of my world, or so I thought, after I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) 13 years ago.

Parkinson’s disease and MS are both diseases of the central nervous system. Yet, when I was diagnosed I knew very little about MS and my only thoughts at the time were that I would inevitably become disabled and end up in a wheelchair. So, I carried out a lot of research and one thing that consistently surfaced was that symptoms of MS are exacerbated by stress. Over time I noticed that my symptoms were more prominent during times of stress. In fact, stress affects the body’s ability to fight any disease.

But how do you reduce the amount of stress in your life when you’re living with a chronic condition like Parkinson’s? I began to make changes to my life and today I am the fittest and healthiest I have ever been. Here are my 9 simple steps to help you on your way to a stress-free life.

1. Positive Mantra

Create your very own positive mantra for your mind, something meaningful and unique to you. It should take you to a place of mindful peace and calm, where you can go and be uplifted at any time, particularly when you sense any feelings of negativity or stress.

2. Choose positivity

It may seem obvious, but surround yourself with positive people or those who bring positive messages into your life. For those who bring negativity and ego, elect to steer clear of them. For those whom you are unable to avoid, spend a minimum amount of time with them, it might sound harsh but it is important.

3. Managing stressful situations

If there is a potentially stressful situation on the radar, gauge what is in your control. If it is in your control, take action to alleviate or remove any stress. If the situation is out of your control, anticipate letting go of any stress without a second thought. Meditation and visualisation of the outcome that you want is also powerful for creating a sense of peace and calm.

Rosemarie Wilson horse riding

4. Practice an ‘attitude of gratitude’

It can be easy to forget all the wonderful things that we do have to be grateful for especially when we are not feeling physically optimal. Maintaining a positive attitude will soon become second nature. Being thankful for all the wonderful things you do have in your life supports a positive state of mind. Practice – what I like to call – an attitude of gratitude.

5. Know your boundaries

Start to recognise the impact and detrimental effect that negative emotions such as anger and frustration have on your mind, body and your environment, including those around you. If someone steps beyond your boundaries, indeed make a stand for yourself but try to do it graciously so as not to provide more negative energy to these already negative emotions.

6. Practice an open mind

As cliché as it may sound, I always seek the positive. If something happens that is negative, I look for what can I learn. If I am unable to grasp the immediate learning I park it and think perhaps it was not my learning, or maybe one day the lesson will become clear to me and then I move on. Take the time to really explore your thinking and mindset, which ultimately leads to your behaviour and actions. The way we think directs the way we behave.

Rosemarie Wilson tackling a mountain

7. Keep moving

I practice the principle of movement through exercise and I absolutely love outdoor running for my mind, body and soul. I know that not all patients are able to carry out regular tasks or exercise but we can all try daily to do something.

8. Develop your sense of humour

There is humour to be found in almost anything. This requires cultivating an open and playful mind, as long as it is not at the expense of others have fun practicing.

9. We have a choice

While we cannot control all of life’s stresses, what we can control is how we react.

Rosemarie Wilson mountain biking


For more information on Rosemarie Wilson and Pragmatica Coaching visit her website here

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