Detrimental Habits with Fibromyalgia

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Living Better With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Living with fibromyalgia, we are often told what we should and shouldn’t do. It gets tiring taking advice all the time, especially when that advice often comes without understanding. When you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, you’ve got enough working against you.

You don’t need to make things worse for yourself! it’s hard not to. By society’s definition, something (other than illness) is “wrong” with anyone who isn’t go, go, go, full speed ahead, all the time. We’re expected to work long hours at stressful jobs, be amazing parents, have a perfectly clean house and keep up with the Joneses.

If you can’t, you must be horribly flawed! Getting out of that mindset is difficult, but it’s something that can really benefit us and help us improve. It takes work, though.

Stop putting your own needs on the back burner.

If you have any sort of chronic debilitating condition, you need to put your own needs first. Even if you are the healthiest person on the planet, you shouldn’t let your needs go to the back of the line. Since Fibro is most common among women, this is especially true as women seem to be trained that their needs should come last after their husband, children, church, jobs, volunteer effort and anything else that could possible come before them. It’s any wonder we give ourselves any time at all; sadly, too many of us don’t.

Stop holding grudges.

Holding a grudge is an unnecessary stress. It causes us to create negative thoughts about a person and focus only on those negative thoughts when we should be trying to find ways to focus on more positive things. Let go of the grudge. You’ll still think of the person on occasion, but when you do, just shrug it off and replace it with a thought of someone you care about who makes you smile.


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Believing other people’s negative opinions

It’s always going to hurt when someone says you’re “lazy” or “crazy” or “worthless,” but you can’t afford to believe them. Someone who keeps going, the best they can, through adversity is stronger and more capable than most. That’s what you need to remember.

Stop wasting time explaining you to others

Most people don’t care enough about you to care about your disease or disorder or why you can’t do what you can’t do. Keep it simple, just say “no” and move on. Don’t try to explain why you can’t do it, because they probably aren’t listening anyway.

Stop trying to hold on to the past

While you may be able to find ways to improve your symptoms, you’ll likely never be 100% again. There will always be limits. Stop trying to re-attain the levels of life you had before your illness and realize that was then and this is now. Focus on what you CAN do instead of what you used to be able to do.

Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments

How many times have we heard that we should “stop and smell the roses”. You don’t really appreciate those small things until you can’t do them anymore. So, take a few moments each day and really think about the small things you were able to enjoy. Write them down so you can look back on them later when you are contemplating that pity party.

Stop being jealous of others

It’s so easy to be jealous of what others have or what others can do. Little do we realize that they have limitations, too? No one sees the true life of another, their abilities or disabilities and their limits. Don’t judge your life based on the “Jones,” real or imagined. Focus on what you have that is wonderful.

Asking why

We all want to know why we’re sick. Is it genetics? Your diet, Vaccines, Pesticides, Infection, Some sort of punishment, why did it strike you and not the millions of other people, this line of questioning can lead to a downward spiral of self-blame, guilt feelings and increased stress. Instead of “Why,” we need to ask, “What’s going on in my body?” That’s the question that can uncover the causes of symptom clusters and lead to treatments.

Stop trying to make things perfect

They already are. Ok, maybe they aren’t perfect; maybe they can even be better than they are now. But the point is that you need to focus on reality instead of perfection. Take small steps to improve things and get closer to the idea of what you want your life to be like, and not constantly worrying about how far from perfect you still are.

Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen

You don’t want to wake up tomorrow in a flare, so it’s all you think about and you end up keeping yourself from sleeping, which results in waking up in a flare. Sound familiar? Well, stop it. Instead of thinking “I don’t want…” think “I want, Focus on the good night’s rest you know you WILL get and how great you know you will feel tomorrow because you made the right choices about the things that ARE in your control.

Stop being ungrateful

Be grateful, every minute of every day. There is something wonderful to be grateful for. Say “Thank You” for the small things and mean it. Instead of getting upset that someone did something that you intended to do because it made you feel “useless” or like they thought you weren’t doing your part, be thankful that they just freed you up to do something else you wanted to do.


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Reference: Living Better With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome By Adrienne Dellwo via Verywell Health

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