Distracting Yourself from Pain

Distracting Yourself from Pain

Through the Fog

When in a lot of pain because of fibromyalgia, focusing on the pain can make you feel so much worse, both physically and emotionally. Thankfully, lots of great ideas are out there to keep you distracted.

Here are some of them:

Laughter: It is truly the best medicine. Watch your favorite comedian on YouTube, or catch a funny TV show or movie. Aside from being a pain distraction, it will also lift your spirits. Go to Pinterest and find some funny memes, then create a board for them so you can go back and look at them when you need a good laugh. I enjoy watching clips of babies laughing — I can’t help but laugh, too.

Music: You could put together a playlist of your favorite tunes, put in your earbuds, and just get lost in the music. Worship music is what gets me out of my head and focused on something other than my pain. When my focus is on the music, it’s harder to focus on pain level.

Breathing: There are many breathing techniques out there, just find one that works for you. I like lying or sitting in a comfortable spot, closing my eyes, picturing a pleasurable place (the beach), and focusing on slowing my breathing. Take a deep breath in through the nose and slowly exhale through the mouth. Repeating this cycle five minutes or longer is optimal.

Spa time: Why not run a bath and pour in some Epsom salts along with your favorite essential oil or other fragrance? Light some candles around your bathroom so you don’t need the light on. Listen to some soft, soothing music and enjoy. 

Art: If you’re artistic, paint, draw in a sketchbook, crochet, or create in whatever way brings you joy. If you’re like me and not very artistic, you could get a fun adult coloring book and some colored pencils. It’s a great distraction.

Netflix: I queue up some of my favorite series and binge-watch on days when the pain is higher or my brain fog keeps me from forming coherent thoughts. Some of my favorites are “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Downton Abbey,” “Midsomer Murders,” “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries,” and “The Crown.” 

These are just a few ideas, and I’m sure you know a lot more. Please share them in the comments so we can all benefit. 


Note: 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 other 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. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

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  1. Dr Reagan says:

    for real distraction from pain i go out and have fun, sing karaoke and dance with friends and my work as a professor is also a distraction
    Dr Reagan

  2. W.D. Baker says:

    How can you go out and have fun when you can’t even get dressed you’re wearing bra do your hair . your articles do not help people that have at fibromyalgia My way I could do that is with pain medication we are not in an epidemic we are in twisted government that wants to make money .According to the DEA 7 million people are addicted to opiates ( and 60% of that number are suicides…not overdoses) that is about 2% of the country in America . while 28 million people ( 18% ) can’t find food everyday….where is the real epidemic.It is in the service treat people like this . people who are not able to get out and about and Not able should get proper pain medication .Then we wonder why they commit suicide . Now our pain pills are being pushed onto the black market where actual chronic pain patients can get a hold of heroin and harder drugs are probably lot cheaper than the pain pills thanks to our government Dad wants to control everything and everyone . .

  3. W.D. Baker says:

    Because of extreme pain I have to speak through a microphone on my computer and it picks up its own words so I’m sorry that a few things do not make sense but I also want to know if the 2 people prior
    that made comments have fibromyalgia at all

    • Christine Lynch says:

      I’m sorry you’re in such a bad state right now. But, after suffering with this awful illness since childhood, I can tell you that you that it will get better – and then it might get worse again. But, it will not stay the same. When it does get a bit better, I encourage you to do all the things you’ve seen written about here. You’ll begin to see that even a little bit of fun or laughter can go a long way toward lessening the severity of your symptoms in the future. I wish you much luck on your journey. Do what you can, when you can. Better days are coming.

  4. Val May says:

    I have had fibromyalgia since my early twenties and it has changed the way it’s affected me over the years. I think there are different types or it affects people in different ways and we have to try and deal with it as best we can. I was put on powerful drugs to start with. I didn’t want to stay on those powerful drugs for long so went down the ‘alternative’ path with varying results. It has helped me reading about other peoples experiences of fibromyalgia.

  5. Dr Réagan says:

    yes i have fibromyagia and arthritis in every joint plus neurological conditions from birth. im in pain constantly, i take tramadol and cyclobenzaprine and prednisone, and vitamins like turneric, and glucosamine and stay active as you saw from my older post
    i have had fibromyalgia since dec 2013
    i would not be on this site if i didnt have it
    Dr Réagan

  6. Colleen Battista says:

    Moving and stretching really help me. I feel best after a yoga/stretching class….though I’ll admit I’m stiff all over the next day or even hours later. I love “hiking” or just walking any nature trails. I ALWAYS see something interesting: bright butterfly, interesting bug, bee nest, spider web, plant, critter…anything. I was an athlete in my “old” life, so part of it is my nature and habit and prior conditioning, although it’s frustrating to have so many limits now. The hardest part is starting all over from square one the next morning. I sleep great, which is a new plus, but then I wake up in serious pain from not moving for so long. If I could move nonstop it would be better, but I gotta sleep! And sleep I do….10-12 hours. Lying in bed with a heating pad is when I hurt the least, and I do that plenty! But every day I have a built-in battle. Every day I have something to do: work to feel better than I felt 1 minute ago. I know not everyone can move, especially if it has not been a prior way of life. But I give it a try. Sometimes it’s like, “Well, I’ll just go out for a short walk and come home if it doesn’t work.” Usually it blossoms once I’m out. Sometimes I come back home nearly in tears because it didn’t help at all, but I pat myself on the back figuratively because “at least I tried”, and these days that has to be good enough. I’m learning to feel more “sorry” for myself than “angry” at my body, which is a nice change. I only know how hard (or not) my path is, which can surely differ from the next person. My morning motto is, “There’s nowhere but up.” And that is the truth.

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