Practicing Mindfulness May Help Reduce Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Fibromyalgia was once considered a psychiatric issue; however, it is now classified as a physical disorder. While the cause of fibromyalgia is not yet clear, stressful events, repetitive injuries, central nervous system issues, or an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain may contribute to the development of the condition. Although these causes are physical, individuals with fibromyalgia may benefit from using mindfulness to help cope with fibromyalgia symptoms.
What is mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness involves focusing on the present and observing inner thoughts and feelings without judgement. The goal of mindfulness is to promote relaxation, improve mental clarity, and manage stress. For individuals with fibromyalgia, it may help control flare-ups and reduce pain perception.
Research suggests that mindfulness meditation calms the sympathetic nervous system, which mitigates stress and relaxes the body.
Individuals with fibromyalgia who practice mindfulness may reap the following benefits:
- Distraction from pain
- Reduced perception of pain
- Diminished negative thoughts or feelings that accompany pain, possibly preventing pain from worsening
- Enhanced awareness of the body, leading to improved self-care
- Reduced tension in the muscles
- Decreased stress
Mindfulness can be practiced in various ways, including meditation, yoga, and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Practicing mindfulness on a daily basis may help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms and improve quality of life.