Thinking Negatively Can Make Fibromyalgia Symptoms Worse


A recent study has found that negative thoughts can increase stress and in turn, make fibromyalgia symptoms worse.

MORE: Fibromyalgia patients talk about how they manage their fibro pain

Rumination is thought to affect a person’s ability to cope and approach life with optimism. Fibromyalgia patients suffer from symptoms such as chronic pain, severe fatigue and brain fog, symptoms which are made worse when the person chooses to focus on negative thoughts.

The researchers involved in the study surveyed 98 women with fibromyalgia, asking them questions about various aspects of their mood including rumination, depression, coping, optimism, anxiety, and stress. They found that those who spent less time ruminating were generally less stressed and suffered from fewer of the physical symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. They concluded that if women were able to better control their negative thought processes then they would experience more relief of their fibro symptoms. Read more about this study here. 

MORE: Six tips to help reduce stress

Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Don says:

    I am no too sure about this subject that first appeared here in Fibromyalgia News Today a little over a year ago. The authors of the research certainly drew a correlation between rumination and stress, but then it was more of just their opinion that the rumination caused the stress – which we all know is not good for those of us with FM. I would be more inclined to believe it is the stress and FM problems that bring upon the rumination. It’s a classic which came first, the chicken or the egg. The bottom line is try to avoid stressful situations, but if you can’t avoid them then don’t let yourself get caught up in dwelling on them all the time.

  2. Nancy Hatcher says:

    I agree Don. I have found no correlation between negative or positive moods when it comes to flare-ups. But I can tell you my mood definitely drops when I’m in pain – not the other way around.

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