Yes, You Can Relax with Fibromyalgia

Yes, You Can Relax with Fibromyalgia

Through the Fog

Having fibromyalgia or any chronic illness has its stressors, both physical and emotional. I have discovered ways to help me relax and de-stress to a certain point. If you have ways that help you de-stress and relax, please share them in the comments section so others can benefit, too.

Deep breathing

If you are prone to anxiety, deep breathing helps to calm you. One way to do this is to place your hand on your belly (so you can feel your lungs filling up), breathe in through your nose to the count of five, hold, breathe out to the through your mouth to the count of six. Start out by doing this for two or three minutes and work your way up to 10 to 20 minutes a day.

Essential oils

Aromatherapy appears to be helpful in many ways. Here are some good oils for relaxation:

Lavender can be put on your wrist pulse points, used it in your bath, and put on your pillow to help you sleep better.

Rose is great for relieving anxiety and depression, panic attacks, grief, and shock. You can put it in a foot bath while you soak and inhale its relaxing properties.

Vetiver has a tranquil and calming energy. It’s one of the best for anxiety.

Ylang ylang has been shown to help with cheerfulness, courage, optimism, and can even soothe fearfulness. It may also calm nervous palpitations and can help with insomnia.

Bergamot is calming and has been used to treat depression by providing energy. It can also help with insomnia.

Uplifting music

Some people enjoy classical music, some just the sounds of nature. I enjoy worship music. Whatever helps you to relax and feel a sense of joy is what you should listen to. It’s good to indulge in whatever brings you happiness.

Walking

It’s so great to unwind and clear your head. You don’t have to walk far or for very long. You know what your body can handle. This is not walking fast to exercise. It’s a slow enjoyable amble to take in the scenery and relax. Take a camera or your smartphone to capture shots of nature.

Prayer

It’s not for everyone, but praying helps me stay grounded, brings peace, and keeps me connected to God and His purpose and plans for my life. Praying for others keeps me from doing too much navel gazing, and really makes me feel blessed. In the same way, meditation also works to slow your heart rate and helps you feel more peaceful.

Acupressure

An example of this is that applying pressure to the fleshy skin between your thumb and index finger helps you to relax. The website http://www.acupressure.com is a great place to learn more about pressure points, what acupressure is, and discover some informative books. You can also drip cool water on your wrists to help you relax.

Laughter

This really is good medicine. Spend time with people who make you laugh. Watch a good comedy. Smile — it really can change your mood. Watch videos of babies giggling on YouTube — they get me every time.

I would love for you to share what you do to relax. It could help others as well as me.

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.

18 comments

  1. I found your list of ways to strategically combat fibro pain to be a good one. I recently learned in a pain management class those very same things as a teaching tools to manage pain. Breathing is good but difficult for me to do for some reason. Prayer, walking and accupuncture are also good ways to de-fibro your body. I like the way you have been able to make lemonade from your lemons. I would to also do something like that because have found that since my meds regimen and techniques for pain reduction that I feel about the best I have ever felt. I would like to help others with their pain. I want to organize a fibro WALK working with Disneyland to have the walk through the Anaheim Resort and as a commercial for Fibromyalgia but haven’t found anyone to help me with it. I need a non-profit organization to back me up and wondered if you could help with it? I need backing because as one person I find it impossible to be heard. What do you think? I started a support facebook page and am working with another lady to get it going but difficult again to find people to join in with talking about their fibro and chronic pain.

    • nicole says:

      I miss Magnesium!!! After 20 years having sever Fibro I started taking this supplement and it was like a miracle: after 3 month I have 35% less pain, I sleep like a baby, feel sooo much stronger mentally etc.
      It sounds to simple: don’t forget magnesium! It can ‘save’ your life!

  2. Valerie says:

    I enjoyed your article and appreciate all the tips. I also find for myself, getting off my feet when possible for an hour. Reading a good book before actually before falling asleep helps me relax.

  3. Jenny says:

    All the suggestions in your article work well for me also. Something that I have found that helps facilitate deep breathing is to generate some deep yawns. It really opens up the chest area and has a relaxing effect. I try to do several in a row and then find the deep breathing much easier. I also incorporate yoga stretches into my daily routine. I have found short segments on YouTube that target fibro pain prone areas such as the neck and shoulders. I find these stretches very helpful for releasing pain which allows me to relax.

  4. Dana Stone says:

    Robin, you definitely know some great ways to redirect your mind from the pain. I use many of them daily. I also use pet therapy. My cats, mom’s pets, the neighbors dogs. I also enjoy doing small projects around the home, repairing things, making an area look better. It gives me a small sense of some type of accomplishment. And it gets me moving.

  5. Shannon says:

    Meditation. Especially guided meditation – where someone talks to you (in a soft, soothing voice) by telling you what to do and even why it will help. You can find tons of free videos on Youtube with the search term “guided meditation” add “sleep” and/or “pain” to find ones that target those specifically.

    TIP: make sure you choose a video where the speaker’s voice is soothing to you. If their voice irritates you in any way, just search for another guided meditation video by a different person. I found one with a guy with a soothing, sexy Aussie accent even lol.

    Guided meditation for sleep or pain is definitely one of the main go-to ways for my pain relief toolbox. Why? It gets me OUT of my head and helps me literally relax my muscles one by one with someone talking me through how to do it. If you’ve never tried guided meditation, I highly recommend it.

    I’ve also been coloring in adult coloring books lately. With pencil crayons. It’s not a very expensive hobby to pick up. Decent pencil crayons are less than $40 and coloring books range from $5-$18 or so. I buy mine from Amazon.ca because then I don’t have to physically go out to get them.

    Coloring tip: search for the most popular coloring books – those are the ones with the best paper quality and the best value too. Books I prefer are where the things to color are small with lots of detail vs large items with little detail that makes you have to color large spaces. My current fave author is anything by Kerby Rosanes.

    Coloring tip #2: watch youtube videos on how to color. There are tons of tips and tricks that make things really easy.

    My other ways to distract and relax myself on bad pain days is by reading a book or playing an online game. Both get me out of my head and focused on something that is easy and leisurely to do, yet keeps me entertained and involved mentally.

    One last thing I might do is watch a movie or catch up on my favorite episodes online. Some of you have Netflix I’m sure. For me, I just look for a free streaming video site that has movies or my tv show on it. Watch them commercial free, without having to pay for anything. If you know how to do this, great. Otherwise, you can pay for Netflix or even rent videos from Amazon.com (I don’t think you can if you live in Canada though).

    Blessed be!

  6. Debbie says:

    I find that doing a crafts helps so much. I have times when I can and times when I can’t walk much.
    In the bad times I will sit and make cards using the latest inexpensive tecniques. I use pinterest a lot and it gives a sence of achievment. .At least I have something to show at the end of the day and gifts to give friends.

  7. Frances Allan says:

    Fibromyalgia, like most other conditions can be patient dependent . Meaning what may work for one person does not always work for another . I have been a nurse for 35 years and for the last 19 of those years I ran a very busy out- patient clinic , I was always on my feet. Also, I was training for a marathon . When my Fibro reared it’s ugly head a lot of my life changed. I was forced to walk away from my clinic and my running stopped. I hear so many people benefit from physical activity . On a good day I go to the gym and do 45 mins cardio plus light weights. In a flareup I do well getting dressed and doing my makeup. Exercise does not help my flare-ups at all. Flare ups or not , I do my make up and get dressed every day , it is important for me to try and look good despite how I feel . My grandmother’s motto was ” powder and paint makes a gal what she aint ” I did try crafts however my hands and fingers cramp and stiffen up easily causing me just frustration. It’s a horrible thing to live with, my motto is.. At least I am not dying and tomorrow is a brand new day!!

    • Robin Dix says:

      Frances, I enjoyed your post. I absolutely agree that what works for one person may not work for another person. That’s why it’s so important to listen to our bodies ?

  8. Julio says:

    It should come with a disclaimer that it isn’t true for every case. Really whoever wrote this article is very irresponsible. I’ve met people who can’t get out of bed, who eat opiates like candy, who can’t listen to music, read, or talk, because of the pain… Those people exist too and they CAN’T RELAX, specially with this silly advice. Sorry, but you’re making a diservice to a lot of people by writing so carelessly.

    • Robin Dix says:

      Julio, I know this isn’t true for everyone. I am a patient columnist which means I also have fibromyalgia and write mostly from my personal experience.

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