Negative Thoughts Increase Stress, Worsen Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Negative Thoughts Increase Stress, Worsen Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Rumination – a way of thinking characterized by repetitive, intrusive and uncontrollable negative thoughts – may influence several psychological variables, such as coping and optimism, which can amplify the sense of perceived stress in fibromyalgia (FM), according to a new study. The study, titled “Rumination Modulates Stress And Other Psychological Processes In Fibromyalgia,” was published in the European Journal of Rheumatology. FM is characterized by widespread pain and high levels of sleep disturbance, fatigue and altered cognition, which can be exacerbated by psychological stress, personality types, coping and anxiety. Certain styles of thinking, such as rumination, also can affect FM by inducing emotional stress. “We hypothesized that higher levels of rumination would be associated with psychological variables that are linked to stress itself,” the authors wrote in the study. “These variables include mood, control, optimism, sleep and coping. We aimed to examine the role of rumination thinking style and to explore whether this thinking style contributes to stress levels in FM.” To do so, 98 FM women completed several questionnaires to assess their levels of rumination, stress, anxiety, depression, optimism, control and coping. Researchers found that patients with higher levels of rumination had increased use of negative coping techniques and higher levels of anxiety, depression and poor sleep levels. These patients also had lower optimism and control. Higher levels of rumination correlated strongly with stress. Together, the results indicated that ruminative thoughts influenced several psychol
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