I’m on the case to discover the impact of having your Mind Full about Fibromyalgia and the difference of being Mindful towards this chronic condition.
What I do know is that there are trillions of articles, blogs, groups and chat forums etc., all of which providing us with bucket loads of information …….. Some of which are more helpful than others and I’m sure you’ll agree, some not so helpful! All this information getting churned over and over, being regurgitated until our mind becomes full and more often than not with negative or unhelpful information only to further reinforce how fibromyalgia impacts on our lives. I’m guilty of this myself, with very little resources for the sufferer in North Devon how else are we meant to find out about our condition? But where does it stop?
Almost four years on since my diagnosis it began to feel like I was entering into a black hole whilst frequently checking to validate if my symptoms were normal for fibromyalgia or OMG! was I about to have a stroke?
Scaring myself into sheer panic all this was achieving was only adding to the stress and most of it I was creating for myself. All this need for validating and seeking out information as if finding it and reading it would actually make the pain go away! Eventually it dawned on me most of my symptoms were being created by my attempts at resisting the pain. Pains probably caused by poor posture and wasting valuable time slouched over my lap top, determined to confirm the blame onto my invisible illness and causing unnecessary anxiety. It’s likely I would have had these pains anyway, fibro or no fibro, however there’s no doubt the condition does increase our sensitivity towards pain and stress. Fibromyalgia causes all our senses to become heightened and it’s only natural that we try to fight this with resistance, that’s the nature of the beast, so putting resistance aside, it’s getting on the case and learning how to manage this instead.
This is where Mindfulness helps, “There are tremendous benefits that arise from mindfulness practice, but it works precisely because we don’t try to attain benefit. Instead, we befriend ourselves as we are. We learn how to drop in on ourselves, visit and hang out in awareness.” Ref: Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Having dabbled with Mindfulness for a while before my diagnosis I decided to put these claims to the test and began to practice on a daily basis to help reduce my response to stress, also responsible for many of the symptoms. Pleasantly surprised by the results I took it a step further and trained as a Practitioner opening my eyes further to the benefits of Mindfulness for managing pain. Learning to be more Mindful, appreciating the here and now, practicing the Body Scan to bring awareness to my well being and the need to pace has taught me to let go of my resistance. I am in no doubt that it’s been the best thing I could have done for myself not knowing I was soon to be diagnosed with cancer. In recovery now, the evidence speaks for itself as a year on I’m offering Mind Full or Mindful about Fibro Workshops here at the clinic, encouraging others to dip their toe in and check it out for themselves, what’s there to lose?
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more, sincerely yours, Jok.