Fibromyalgia

Managing Stress & Fibromyalgia

Stress has a great effect on fibromyalgia pain.

When we get stressed we tightened our muscles, our blood pressure goes up, we grit our teeth, and we tense up. All these things trigger our pain.

But not all stress is bad. When we are stressed our body releases hormones, such as adrenaline into our system. This helps us deal with the situation at hand. You’ve probably heard of people having super strength in order to save someone, like lifting a car off of a friend.

But when we are constantly stressed and constantly adding these hormones into our bodies it can be harmful.

Long term stress can impair our health physically, mentally, and emotionally. It creates headaches, ulcers, and heart disease. This, in turn, affects our personal relationships which will create more stress, more headaches, more ulcers ….You get the picture. It’s a downward spiral.

So, how can we manage our stress?

Reminder:  I just want to say that I am a patient, not a doctor. What I am sharing comes largely from what my doctors taught me and what I have discovered in my own searching.

I am sharing to hopefully help you be informed enough to support friends with this syndrome or possibly acquire informed questions for your doctor. Please talk with your doctor or visit the Mayo Clinic website for official information, diagnosis, and treatment.

First, we must identify stress signals.

  1. What happens to you when you are stressed?
  2. Do you have physical changes, such as stomach ache, nausea, tense muscles?
  3. What about your thoughts and feelings? Are you anxious, nervous, irritable?
  4. What about your behaviors? Do you sleep, withdraw, smoke?

Does this get you started? What are your stress signals?

Second, evaluate and categorized them.

  1. Do you have any control of these stressors?
  2. Are they important events that must happen or
  3. can you find ways to lighten the stress for these events?

Third, Figure out how to let go of events that are unimportant or out of your control.

For instance, You cannot control the weather, so you must learn and teach yourself not to stress when bad weather is on its way. Find ways to keep from focusing on the stress. Once you have identified the things you cannot control, find ways to cope with them.

Take a break from these stresses.

Finally, Here are a few ways to take a break and relax.

50 Ways to Take a Break
Used with permission from Fibromyalgia and Lupus National Association

 

To Caregivers and Friends

We all have stress in our lives. So … the above information is good for all of us. Pick something to do and take your Fibro friend with you!  Just don’t over do it!

Here’s an article I found for the caregiver …

Managing Stress when You are the Caregiver

So what are your stress signals? How do you handle stress and fibro flairs when you see them coming?

Feeling your pain!

GGMandy Signature

Check this out! Cool, eh?

Featured at Fresh Start on a Budget

Sources

Fibromyalgia: The Road to Wellness

Facebook Fibromyalgia National Coalition Butterflies

7 thoughts on “Managing Stress & Fibromyalgia

  1. This is such great advice. I have many friends with fibromyalgia and also get stressed very easily resulting in tense muscles, headaches, etc. I love the “50 ways to take a break” graphic and I’m going to pin it! Thank you for this post.

  2. “When we get stressed we tightened our muscles, our blood pressure goes up, we grit our teeth, and we tense up.” That’s one way I can tell I am stressed. At least I’ve learned to recognize it. I love all your suggestions for taking a break. Now to make sure I do take breaks! 🙂 Blessings to you. I’m your neighbor at Inspire Me Monday today!

  3. Thanks for sharing this Mandy! It is so important to keep these thoughts fresh, and to reset our perspective to watch out for the stress building times. I am taking moments throughout my day, to pause and breathe in stillness with Jesus. He is so good to help us center our hearts on Him! –Blessings to you!

  4. Hi Mandy, I definitely think that long term stress is the thing that tipped my health over the edge. This is possibly true for many women who have the stress of working and having children and so many people who rely upon us at certain times in our life. Our attitude can definitely help and working out how to lighten the load but sometimes this is not possible due to life circumstances. Women need to take small times in their daily routine to look after themselves which is why the infographic is so great. (There is one in there that I just don’t get though ” paint on a surface other than paper”!?!)

    1. Yeah, Lee I don’t get that one either. But I liked the graphic so I used it. Thankful to Fibromyalgia & Lupus National Association for allowing me permission to use their images throughout my series. Who knows maybe painting on different surfaces IS helpful! I’m not a painter. 🙂

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