Stress can come from many things but wherever it comes from, it is going to make your fibromyalgia worse and thus is vital to deal with.
Mental Stress and Fibromyalgia
One doesn’t have to be the VP Sales in a huge corporation to be under stress. You might work for a small company and simply have a mean, grumpy boss, or worse a somewhat sadistic boss or co-worker and be under stress as a result of their repeated antagonism toward you.
Maybe your commute to and from work is treacherous or stressful due to traffic or other conditions. Or maybe you have some relationship at home that is stressful.
It could be that home is fine and you love work but you aren’t making enough financially to cover your expenses and so you are stressed about your own or your business finances.
These and countless other scenarios can be causing you extra stress.
Physical Stress and Fibromyalgia
When you hear “physical stress” you think of perhaps running a marathon. But if your job requires extensive travel this can put a huge demand on your body. If you work very long hours or irregular hours or work a night shift, such factors can also create a physical stress.
One’s reaction to stress varies from person to person. For example, some people don’t mind speaking in front of an audience, whereas some people find it incredibly stressful. So your attitude or reaction to potentially stressful situations plays a part in it as well.
It could be that you aren’t fully aware of how much stress you are experiencing. Some people consider it part of life or “normal” to be under stress. But the truth is that it isn’t healthy to be under stress for any length of time.
Stress, particularly prolonged stress that goes for weeks, months or even years, can be very taxing on your body and can cause quite some damage.
When you are stressed your adrenal glands are forced to produce more cortisol and adrenaline (the main stress hormones) than usual. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action.
Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus—preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.
Stress that continues over long periods of time and is left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Stress can also trigger FMS or CFS or re-trigger it.
Because of the widespread damage stress can cause, it’s important to know your own limit.
It is vital that you work to reduce stress in your life in every way you can. There are several approaches to this that can help.
Part of reducing stress can come from your attitude toward the stressful situations. Talking about it with someone can often help. Meditation and other self-help techniques can also go a long way in reducing stress.
Sometimes it is a matter of certain people in your environment that cause you stress. This can be a rough relationship with your spouse or another family member, a neighbor, a co-worker or boss, someone from a group that you frequent, etc. If it is a neighbor or co-worker and you can somehow reduce or even cut off contact with that person, then this might help in relieving that tension.
If it’s your boss or spouse or other family member, talking about the situation with someone else can sometimes help. Talking about it with the person directly, where this is possible, can also often help. Or one can get professional help to address the matter. Or maybe it’s time to get a new job or lay down some new ground rules in the house.
Sometimes particular situations can cause stress, such as debt load resulting from not making enough money to adequately cover expenses. This might require confronting the details of the situation and coming up with a real handling such as budgeting your expenditures to fit within available funds and then honestly enforcing this budget be followed by all concerned. In other words, maybe there is a real situation that you are facing that needs confronting and real solutions worked out.
Just isolating where your stress is coming from can be very enlightening and relieving in itself. Once you really nail down where your stress is coming from, it isn’t hard to work out immediate, medium and long-range handlings for it.
There are also many things one can do to relieve stress — massages, exercise, breathing techniques, meditation, etc. — this doesn’t replace the need to isolate the sources of stress and reduce them as much as possible.
Fibromyalgia can be brought on by extreme stress or trauma and stress can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. Stress and Fibromyalgia are very interrelated.
This is an excerpt from the new book, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Illness, Navigating through the confusion and deception, isolating the truly effective, science-based treatments to recover your health and take back your life, which is now available on Amazon.