Wellbeing of the Mind and Soul

The wellbeing of the mind and soul is an integral part of the total management of ME (cfs).  The ability to function at the physical level is dependent on the state of the mind and soul, hence the frequent references to mind/body connection.

Sufferers of ME (cfs) experience a range of cognitive symptoms of varying intensity.  These symptoms can be very debilitating as they interfere with normal mental functioning in daily life, resulting in loss of self esteem, confidence, and a sense of wellbeing.

Symptoms may include the following:

    • Concentration difficulties
    • Short term memory problems
    • Word finding difficulties
    • Perceptual and sensory disturbances
    • Disorientation or confusion
    • Sleep disorders
    • Anxiety
    • Depression

Symptom manifestations differ from person to person.  Most will want to find help to alleviate the symptoms.  Adopting strategies to nurture the mind and soul can often lead to an improvement in wellbeing.  While there are many strategies to choose from, there is not an easy way to find the right strategy for you, except by trying a few different ones until you find the strategies that suit you best or are most comfortable with.

The following have been found by others to be of benefit:

Meditation

  • Based on simple principles and is easy to learn.
  • Learn the technique on your own from listening to compact disks and reading books on meditation.  Borrow through your local library.
  • When you are well enough, meditating with a group of people can give you an opportunity to share your experiences and hear about the experiences of others.  Join a meditation group in your local area, they often leave brochures at libraries, health shops, community health services, or on notice boards in public hospitals; or look for advertisements in your local paper. Melbourne Meditation Centre offers classes, cd’s, books, online books, and online courses. Refer Resources Guide for their contact and website details.
  • A technique aimed at creating a sense of calm within the mind, allowing it to rest.
  • Assists in relieving stress and anxiety of the mind, resulting in a more relaxed body as well.
  • Short spot–meditations can help you to de-stress during the day.
  • Longer sessions relax the body deeply and allow the mind to become delightfully calm and clear.
  • Practising meditation provides a focus for the day.
  • Meditation can be done at any time of the day and night, and anywhere, including lying in bed.
  • Meditation sessions of 20 minutes or more twice a day provide the most benefits.  Meditation may lead to health benefits such as:
    • Decreasing heart rate.
    • Lowering blood pressure.
    • Reducing pain, insomnia, digestive problems, depression and anxiety.
    • Improving creativity, concentration, memory, as well as stimulating physical energy.

Prayer

  • People pray in times of personal tragedy, disaster or crisis affecting their lives.  The coming together of people in support of each other to pray during a national or international crisis is often seen as a healing process.
  • Praying as a means of connecting with a higher being is almost universal across cultures down through the ages.
  • When engaged in prayer, other thoughts are crowded out of the mind, allowing you to concentrate on the prayer topics.  This also has the effect of de-cluttering and calming the mind.
  • Praying to ease tension and stress.
  • Find someone to support and pray with you such as a friend.
  • Finding comfort and peace of mind through prayer.
  • Praying for more faith and belief in the healing power of God.
  • Finding extra strength through prayer to cope with daily living.
  • Praying is like having your own private helpline whenever you need it.
  • Nurturing the soul through prayer.
  • Pray for hope and optimism.
  • Reinforcing one’s faith in humanity and God.
  • Ask someone to pray for you, such as a friend who believes in prayer.
  • Pray for love and with love for others.
  • Praying is exercising one’s faith in private.
  • Praying is exercising one’s faith with others.
  • Pray anytime of the day and night, and anywhere, including lying in bed.
  • Prayers can be long or short to meet individual needs.
  • Set aside a quiet time to pray, just as you would practising meditation.
  • Praying is free.

 Relaxation

  • Soothes away tension, rests and revives both mind and body.
  • The technique is easy and simple to follow.
  • It is a deliberate and systematic process of releasing muscular tension, and can be directed to specific parts of the body.
  • Exercises can be done at any time of the day or night, and anywhere, including when lying in bed.
  • Session durations can be long or short to suit individual needs.
  • Relaxation can be learnt from a professional, or self taught from compact disks and books from your local library, or researched on the Internet.

Supportive Counselling

Local Community Health Services provide information and counselling for issues that impact on your life and health.

Humour

“Laughter is the best medicine and food for the soul”. Wesley Do Care Telelink  offers a range of topics, sometimes including comedy and humour topics. Speak to the Telelink Coordinator and ask to join.

Keeping a Pet

If you are able to cope or have help, some studies by Australian and German researchers have shown that keeping a pet produces health benefits. (The Age, 10th March 2003, News 7).  Also there are feel-good factors such as companionship and the calming effect they can provide.

Resources

Melbourne Meditation Centre
www.melbournemeditationcentre.com.au

Wesley Do Care
Telelink Co-ordinator
Phone:  (03) 9762 5211

Community Health Services, Neighbourhood Houses
Contact your local council and ask for a Council Information Guide for your area.

Contact your Local Library
For tapes, CDs, Videos, Talking Books, Large Print Books, Books and magazines, etc.

Contact local churches and ask to speak to the minister for visitation and support.