Managing Stress and Its Impact on Your Fibro
Fibromyalgia warrior Sarah Borien and counselor Eric Patterson share their tips for combatting stress.
Sarah’s Tips for Managing Stress
Often when fibromyalgia patients are told about the need to control stress levels, we get annoyed. It implies that if stress affects our pain then our pain isn’t ‘real’; it implies the pain is more psychological than it is physical and that can be frustrating.
However, stress has a direct impact on our pain levels so it’s essential that we try and keep our lives as stress-free as possible. Many people internalize their stress which means that the more stressed we become, the more pressure we put on our insides.
How can we ease the stress in our lives?
1. Identify the Stresses
You can’t reduce them until you identify them. Make a list of all the things that cause you some kind of stress, and prepare yourself because it’s going to be long!
Once you have your list, cross through everything that you have no control over. This is important because although you can’t control everything, you can probably change more than you think.
2. Implement Change
It’s one thing to identify the stress, but another to make practical changes. Of all the things you have control over, write down something you can do to make it easier.
For example, my journey to work is stressful so I have changed my working hours to travel outside of rush hour to reduce my stress.
3. Help Yourself
I can’t be the only one who makes life harder for myself. We all do that, right? Right?! For example, being late makes me stressed, but I am also a person who doesn’t check my travel plans before I leave the house. Therefore traffic jams or train cancellations make me incredibly stressed, and yet I could have made my life much easier by checking travel in advance.