Can staying positive do anything for your fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a rare condition affecting 2-8% of the population with common symptoms of chronic pain, brain fog, and fatigue. Those of us with the condition, myself included, find everyday tasks extremely challenging. “Simply” getting out of bed in the morning to take medication is a hurdle to overcome!
Today, we’re exploring how staying positive can help relieve and reduce symptoms and how to actually get started implementing them. It’s not easy, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Healthy Positivity and Fibromyalgia
So how can staying positive alone even begin to help? Well, according to renowned psychologist Michael F. Scheier, it can help a lot. Scheier published groundbreaking research in 1985 exploring the power of positive thinking. His research then has been cited in more than 3,000 publications and in 2012, he revisited the research in an interview with The Atlantic.
Positive thinking alone can help spur you into accomplishing tasks and proceeding through the day. However, it’s often the associated coping strategies that make a difference. While optimists can be associated with problem solvers, pessimists may be associated with denial and a dwelling on negativity.
These are the key differences between simply staying positive without reason and staying positive with a plan in place. Nobody likes toxic positivity, that ignores the real problems of chronic pain and fatigue. But choosing to search for solutions and giving yourself the time and grace to do so, can be a great aid in living a better day-to-day life.
Creating a Bad-Day Toolkit
Will adopting a positive mindset actually help? Creating a “bad day toolkit” is a great way to prepare ahead of time for days when positivity is manually created instead of natural.
My favorite bad-day toolkit plans are those that allow me to feel good about myself, because when you wake up, feeling quite lousy and plans need to be changed, once again, it can take you down a frustrated mindset path. So the need to change your thought process is very important to stay positive. Therefore, creating a bad-day toolkit with an action mindset plan to follow when feeling debilitating widespread body pain and fatigue will help create a positivity.
Small Action Mindset Plan
- Don’t beat yourself up for feeling poorly
- Have morning medications and water next to your bed
- Engage in positive self talk
- Have a short stretching routine in place
- Rest after stretching routine
- Decide what you CAN do today
- Take a hot epsom salt bath – it’s ok to take more than One!
- Reassess how you feel throughout the day
- Take notice of the enjoyable moments that today brings
- Think of something to be grateful for today.
These steps seem very small when written, but when feeling extreme widespread body pain and debilitating fatigue, the steps are critical to the start of your day. By taking action first thing in the morning you can create a positive mindset for the day.
If all you can do today is self- care and slip into warm pajamas and find a fuzzy blanket to lay on the couch today – that’s ok! Today is a rest day and you have accomplished it!
Resting is not lazy. Resting is doing what your body needs to do. Resting is self care that you need to recover and rejuvenate.
If you are feeling poorly yet not depleted, then you may be able to talk to a trusted friend or family member on the phone and find positivity in communicating with others. Or perhaps if you feel a bit under the weather but not bedridden, walking slowly in the house or a short distance down the street might keep you positive.
Maybe just watching a good movie of your choice will lift your spirits? I watch comedies these days! Nothing better than a feel good movie with a happy ending to brighten your thoughts!
Living with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Positivity
There’s no doubt that being positive can make living with fibromyalgia and chronic pain more bearable. Countless studies show patients with musculoskeletal pain that have an optimistic outlook results in less severe pain intensity as well as an improved satisfaction with life.
So how can we turn a difficult day around? We have to implement smaller steps toward our goals. Write down plans that will get you moving and happy, and then coach yourself slowly to take each smaller step to get there. You’ve got this!
Ready to learn more about how to live better alongside fibromyalgia and chronic pain? Read more on my blog here at Fibromyalgia Living Daily. We can live better, together.