**Stress and Fibromyalgia
-Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body.
-When fibromyalgia pains flare up, every activity can seem more difficult. All people experience flares differently, and there can be different triggers depending on the person.
-Emotional stress can affect your perception of pain, which may be why people with fibromyalgia are more susceptible to stress than people who don't have the condition.
-Stress weakens your body. In a weakened state, you're more vulnerable to fibromyalgia's symptoms, such as chronic pain, fatigue, and depression.
-Many researchers believe if you eliminate certain stressful triggers, you'll in turn experience reduced fibromyalgia symptoms.
-But loosening the grip of day-to-day stresses is not as simple as it sounds.
-Often, people with fibromyalgia overload themselves with parenting or other caretaking duties, or their career may take precedence.
-The stress response can also come from being busy doing things you absolutely love.
-Whatever the situation, many people with fibromyalgia aren't putting themselves as a top concern.
-But certain lifestyle changes—such as taking time to relax and making your health a priority—are an essential part of coping with fibromyalgia.
**Fibromyalgia Flare-Ups and Stress
-Flare-ups can happen without warning and are mostly likely to occur if a person with fibromyalgia is stressed or under a lot of pressure.
-A flare-up can last anywhere from a few days to weeks at a time.
-Flare-ups are a source of stress, because they can happen without warning.
-Sometimes a person with fibromyalgia can feel like they are waiting with bated breath each day in case a flare-up happens.
-Certain factors may trigger a fibromyalgia flare-up, such as changes in diet, hormones, physical or psychological stress, schedule, sleep, temperature or weather, treatment
-Stressful events, surgery, or accidents can make fibromyalgia symptoms worse.
-Flare-ups can also be caused by a lack of sleep or doing too much or too little exercise.
**The Relaxation Response
The relaxation response is the rest and digest part of the nervous system.
It basically undoes the work of the stress response after a stressful situation.
The relaxation response happens when we feel safe, nurtured or taken care of.
It can block effects from your body’s response to stress.
This is good for your mental and physical health.
**Effective Relaxation Techniques
The most effective relaxation technique is one that works for you!
Different relaxation techniques will help different people at different times.
What works for you this week, may not work next week.
But it might work again next month.
Our needs vary and so it’s important to have a toolbox of relaxation techniques to help you on a regular basis.