No one skips happily home the day they find out they have fibromyalgia, or any other ailment. It’s human nature to want to feel vibrant, happy and well and to resist illness. But resistance is not your friend and here’s why. There’s a saying, “What you resist, persists” and that is certainly true when we fret over our physical state. The worrying amps up our stress level and sets our adrenals pumping out cortisol 24/7, which irritates all those nasty fibro symptoms, like pain and fatigue, making us feel even worse.
In my last blog post we explored how to start meditating, to clear our minds and create a more calming peace in our lives. That’s a good place to start to release resentment. If you missed that post, catch it HERE.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you embrace illness as a friend and you should still do all you can to get well. But mentally resisting the current situation will get you nowhere fast. Here are some things we can do to stop resisting and start to ease our pain and fatigue symptoms:
1. Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
You can’t be simultaneously grateful and resentful, so learning to stop and smell the roses, then give thanks for them, is a life-affirming skill that serves you well. One of the best ways to start a gratitude practice is to write down three things you are most grateful for every night before bed. It can be as simple as a fluffy, warm bed or something more weighty, like a meaningful conversation you had with your spouse. Keep this in a gratitude journal, which can be as fancy or as utilitarian as you wish. This practice sets you up to be on the look-out all day long for positive happenings and it’s also a spirit-lifter to look back and review past gratitudes.
2. Get Connected
Studies show that excessive solitude makes us feel symptoms more acutely so make an effort to get out when you can and spend quality time with friends, family and people you love. Look for ways to meet and enjoy new people with similar interests. You may consider joining a photography class if that is your passion, or learn a new hobby that you find interesting. If getting out of the house is too difficult, connect with friends and family over Skype or the phone.
3. Journal your emotions and explore them
Slow down enough to think about why you are feeling the way you do and whether that is serving you, or making you feel worse, and write about it in a private journal. Good news: if your thoughts are making your symptoms worse, you can STOP thinking that way. None of us can 100% control our surroundings and heaven knows we can’t control any other person. But you can choose what you allow to take root in your mind and how you react to a situation. Fighting your fibro diagnosis kicking and screaming will not help you. I’m not saying you should celebrate being unwell but realize, a fibro diagnosis is not all doom and gloom. When you teach yourself to always look for a lesson, for some little slice of silver in every raincloud, then you will start to loosen up and your symptoms will abate.
4. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim
Just because doctors say there is “no cure” for fibro does not mean you have to spend the rest of your life in pain. In the beginning of my fight with fibro I worried that I might never feel well again, but as time went on and I got the proper health care helpers on my team, my symptoms greatly improved and I saw that I did indeed have a great measure of control over how I felt.
5. Practice Radical Self-Care
I now practice radical self care, and I highly recommend this. How? Learn to say no when you mean no and don’t feel guilty about that. Get proper sleep and eat nutritious foods that fuel your body, avoiding those that harm you. Incorporate gentle movement and activity, as well as quiet meditation into each day. Plan at least one activity a day you truly enjoy and schedule in time to do it no matter what else may threaten to interfere. Stop people pleasing.
Know that you are 100% responsible for your good health and you DO have the power to make that happen. My experience with fibro taught me that healing happens easier and faster with a guide, like a health coach, and I am here to support you when you are ready to make that jump.
If you are ready to jump-start your healing, you can schedule a complimentary Fibromyalgia Breakthrough Session with me HERE.
Have you had resistance to not feeling well? How did that affect you? Please share by commenting below.