When it comes to thriving with a chronic illness such as an auto-immune disease and overcoming fatigue, I find most people want a silver bullet. People want just one thing they can do to feel better. In many respects, diet seems to be the easiest, or at least the first one people reach for. I did when trying to heal from multiple sclerosis and re-energize.

But health, wellness and thriving are about more than what medication we take. It's even about more than what we eat, although that is important. So many books on overcoming auto-immune disease focus on diet or coping skills. That's great, but I am happy to see that more recent books on chronic illness and autoimmune disease are mentioning the role of meditation. For instance, in the book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, Dr. George Jelinek commits a whole chapter to meditation as something to be incorporated into a MS wellness plan. I whole-heartedly agree.

The evidence is overwhelming how effective meditation is in improving the lives of those with MS and other chronic conditions. A recent study reported in Neurology (2010;75;1141-1149) demonstrated that health-related quality of life, including incidence of depression, anxiety and fatigue decreased significantly for those participating in a structured 8-week program of mindfulness training. Other studies have found that meditation produces lasting results in the brain (increasing connections) and improving proper immune system function.

Meditation isn't just for yogis and Buddhist monks. Anyone can do it, anywhere. And it's free. Here's a basic plan or you can seek out a meditation center in your area if you want more guidance.

When starting out, it's best to find a quiet place. Sit in a chair with your back supported and your feet on the ground, in a cross-legged position, or however else is comfortable. You can close your eyes or you can focus on a stationary point. Take a few cleansing breaths. Scan your body from head to toe, relaxing as you go. Then observe your breath. In. Out. If thoughts enter your mind space, notice them but don't chase them. Watch them float by like a fish in an aquarium. If you are apt to follow a thought, thank the thought for coming and tell you will get back to it when you're done.

If this is your first time meditating, start with 5 minutes. Work your way up to 20 minutes. If you can't find 20 minutes, do it for 5 minutes, 4 times a day. This is a practice best done daily.

But what do you do while meditating? This is a common question. The best advice I have received is treat your thoughts like fish in an aquarium. Watch them go by, but don't dive in after them.

Laurie Erdman helps working women double their energy, overcome chronic illness and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. She overcame multiple sclerosis, fatigue, and chronic stress, and now inspires and educates others to create a healthier, more vibrant life. Laurie is Founder and Chief Wellness Hero at Chronic Wellness Coaching. Join Laurie for a From Fatigued to Fabulous Breakthrough Session and learn to be your own superhero at http://www.laurieerdman.com

Author's Bio: 

Not long ago, I was a corporate vice president and lawyer, working 60+ hours a week, chasing deadlines and deals. I was fueling my life from the vending machine and was on a first name basis with the barista. I knew something big was missing but I didn't know what else to do other than be a lawyer. I was too scared to quit my stressful-but-secure job and "find" myself; I had bills to pay. I was unhappy, unfulfilled, but resigned myself to a "someday I'll feel fulfilled" life.

Then later that year I received an unexpected holiday call . . . Merry Christmas, you have multiple sclerosis.

At that moment, 2 days before Christmas, I knew everything in my life had to change.

I made a commitment to immerse myself in absolutely everything that had to do with getting more energy, health and vibrancy. I read every book and took every course on nutrition, self-actualization and stress management that I could. In short order, I became an expert on how to get more energy, more happiness and live a fulfilled life. But, I didn't just want to gather "shelf" help and build my library. I wanted to go beyond the books and take action!

I had compiled heaps of scientific and practical information when I had an epiphany... in a flash, I knew I had to share this knowledge and liberate other sugar addicted, stressed out, unfulfilled, women with dis-ease.

I have since committed the rest of my life to helping working women avoid the terrible "wake up call" I got and instead, teaching them to enjoy life NOW and escape the prison of stress, sugar blues and dis-ease. My passion is to empower my clients can step into their confident, healthy, peaceful selves through my workshops, online programs, private coaching and VIP strategy and implementation days.

Now, I work with many private clients, I speak in front of countless groups, and offer programs like The From Fatigued To Fabulous System™; a series of 6 important energy-building steps every woman needs to apply to get more energy, more time and be more fulfilled. If you're ready to go from Fatigued To Fabulous™ then schedule your From Fatigued To Fabulous™ Breakthrough Session today.