Oy, the Stress!

As many of us have been spending an inordinate amount of time on social media lately, I’ve been reading about the relationship between Fibro and stress. During this incredibly strange time of Corona lockdown-unemployment mania, many people are experiencing high levels of stress – myself included. Those of us who tend to feel stress physically in our bodies might be experiencing high levels of pain. This should answer the question I am often asked, “Is Fibro caused by stress?” Well, I don’t think we can truly say that there is ONE cause of Fibro, but I think we can definitely say that stress makes everything feel worse.

Why, exactly, does that happen? Stress is a response to a situation that initiates a series of signals to the nervous system. Those signals tell our bodies to get ready to flight, flee or feign death. One of the results of this unconscious process is increased tension in our muscles. We have all experienced this, be it in the jaw, neck, shoulders or low back. As Fibro sufferers, we do far too much of this already. Now, adding another layer of stress makes everything hurt even more.

What can we do about it? Breathe, take a walk, put on some relaxing music and light some candles. Paint, draw, play the piano, do some yoga, whatever makes you feel calmer. As you probably know, I am a teacher and practitioner of meditation, so obviously I’m going to say meditate! But anything you do calmly can be meditative, so do that. Stress does not solve any problems, it just makes the problems we have hurt us more. So, let’s all take a deep breath and be calm.

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