Steps You Can Take To Ease Symptoms

There is currently no treatment protocol or cure for Visual Snow or  Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. The Neurosensory and Neuroregenerative Research Foundation is hard at work educating the medical community about VS and HPPD, and researching for an effective treatment and cure. By registering on this site and putting your pin on our map, you’re giving us vital VS and HPPD data that we’ll use to unravel the mysteries of these diseases. And by donating, you are fueling our groundbreaking research. However, there are some actions you can take in your life to reduce your symptoms.

Stress exacerbates the symptoms of both VS and HPPD. The NNRF strongly recommends reducing stress in your life to mitigate the effects of these diseases. You currently have no control over the effects of these diseases, but you do have control over your response. And by choosing to reduce stress, you can live a full, happy and otherwise healthy life with VS or HPPD. Take comfort in the fact that these diseases tend to level off and there have been no recorded cases of a person going completely blind.

Here are some scientifically proven ways to reduce stress in order to tame your symptoms:

Meditation

There is a mountain of incredibly positive scientific research on meditation. Understand that meditation does not have to be a religious experience. It is simply a way to exercise or massage your brain to a peaceful state vacant of stress. Simply choose a quiet place where you can sit comfortably for 10 minutes without being interrupted. Now, focus on your breath. Feel it draw into your body. Pay close attention to it as you exhale, feeling the heat of the breath out of your mouth. Do your best to continue focusing on your breath. If you catch yourself thinking about something else, let go of the thought softly and concentrate on your breathing.

You can use a mantra, like “I am breathing in, I am breathing out.” You can also use visuals. You can imagine you are inhaling golden light and exhaling a black cloud of bad thoughts and stress. The point is to bring your mind into the now by focusing on the act of breathing. You’ll feel incredibly rested and stress-free when you’re done. You can meditate in the morning, afternoon and right before bed. There’s no overdosing.

Exercise

Research proves that fitness destroys stress. Try to workout at least three times per week. Resistance training tones muscles while increasing your metabolism and confidence. Aerobic activity strengthens the heart and burns fat. Yoga and mobility training loosens up the body to make you feel great. Consider challenging yourself by signing up for a half-marathon so that you have a goal and will stick to your fitness routine.

See More Friends

Human beings are social creatures. In fact, research shows that isolation from other humans and loneliness reduces life expectancy. Conversely, catching up with your friends more often is proven to reduce stress levels. Put down that smart phone or tablet because you can’t get meaningful connections through social media. Get out of the house to see your friends face-to-face to meaningfully reduce stress.

Laugh Out Loud

Laughter is scientifically proven to reduce stress. Watch a funny movie instead of the evening news which tends to be fully scary stories. Spend more time around your funniest friends. Go see a live comedy show.

Eat Right

Your physiology dictates how you feel. If you are primarily eating unhealthy foods, you’ll typically experience negative emotions including stress. But if you choose to eat well and exercise, you’ll be brimming with energy, confidence and positive feelings. Eliminate or reduce processed foods, refined sugar, alcohol and tobacco products. Eat more whole foods including raw vegetables.

Train Your Brain

You can change the way your brain perceives the world to be more positive. Consider starting a positivity journal. Take time out of your day at lunch and just before bed to jot down the most positive things you experienced that day. By actively focusing on the positive parts of your experience, you’ll train your brain to seek out positive observations. You could eventually walk through a park with a friend where you’ll only notice the positive things around you while your friend only sees the negative. Same park, same experience, but a totally different perception.

Cut Out Stressors

Consider keeping a stressor journal, as well. Quickly jot down the most stressful parts of your day or when your symptoms are at their worst. You’ll soon make connections, identifying the most stressful parts of your day. Then make an actionable plan to cut those stressors out of your life. Take a different route to work, reduce your workload and don’t be afraid to cut certain people out of your life.