Stress Management for Fibromyalgia
If you suffer from fibromyalgia you know how stressful the condition can be. Pain and discomfort can interfere with your daily activities and severely degrade your quality of life. You may need to adjust plans around your symptoms, you may feel a lack of stamina, and you may be tired all the time. This can put a damper on your work and social plans, and it can cause stress and anxiety.
In addition, stress and anxiety can make your fibromyalgia symptoms worse. Pain caused by fibromyalgia that may have been possible for you to deal with given relaxed conditions may seem that much worse if you have to deal with it on top of the stress of a job or family. And when you are mentally stressed, your body can manifest that in more physical discomfort.
However, there are things you can do to relieve the stress of fibromyalgia and prevent stress from worsening your symptoms: you can learn how to deal will stress and anxiety in proactive ways. Here are some suggestions:
Take a walk: Whether it’s alone, with a friend, or with a dog, a walk outside can help relieve stress and anxiety. Fresh air will make your head feel clearer, and escaping from your current surroundings can prompt you to look at your situation in a different way. A walk alone or with a dog can also provide much needed solitude while walking with a friend can be great for talking things out.
Let your inner diva out: Putting on some lively music and singing or dancing can make you temporarily forget about your worries. Happy music and movement will prompt happy thoughts, and the physical activity of dance will promote blood flow and oxygenation of the brain.
Listen to relaxing music: Our heartbeat will conform to the beat of the music we are listening to, so the slow tempo of relaxing music can slow the heartbeat and dispel anxiety.
Smile and laugh out loud: It’s been shown in psychology that even if someone is in a bad mood, smiling and laughing will prompt a more positive outlook. Even if it’s forced at first, a fake smile will give way to a natural smile, a better mood, and less stress. Go ahead. Smile. We dare you.
Have a cup of tea or soup: There’s always something soothing about warm liquid; it clears the senses and the mind. Just avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, as this can make stress and a negative mood worse.
Help someone: Volunteering to help someone else can make you feel better about yourself. Your own problems may also seem smaller compared to someone less fortunate than yourself.
Learn to say “no”: Don’t become bogged down with over-commitment. This can make your schedule more hectic and create more stress and anxiety. Plans with others can often be rescheduled when you know you’ll be able to fully enjoy and participate in them without thinking of everything else you have to do. Make sure to always save some time for yourself.
Exercise, do yoga, or any aerobic activity you enjoy: The controlled breathing involved in yoga or pilates will help you relax your mind and your muscles. The endorphins released by aerobic activity will make you feel energized and euphoric.
Talk to a friend: Sometimes you might just need a caring listener to talk things out with. Sometimes that listener may have even been through the same thing or have some good advice.