Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Number One Question: What helps make you feel better?

In all my computer travels through blogs, Facebook and Twitter people ask, "What is it that makes you feel better?"  That's a complex and loaded question.  The mind/body connection is part of what makes that question so complex.  If we start with the mind, our perception of our world makes all the difference.  Obviously the more positive the perceptions the less pain people have.  In an effort to learn more strategies to maintain positive thoughts, I have subscribed to Live Happy publication.  This
publication is chock full of good positive thinking tips and stories about what others are doing to maintain happiness and positive thoughts.  Another think I have done is join a week long Webinar on Wake Up Happy.  Some of the top positive thinkers around the world have shared their insights and strategies for living a more fullfilled and happier life.  Tomorrow is the last day of the series for this month and it was well worth joining these Webinars with a hot cup of coffee!  For more information on the Live Happy publication go to  You can also learn more about the Wake Up Happy Webinars by doing a search on the Live Happy Web site.  It will help change negative thinking if you apply the principles and strategies.

So much has been written about the pros and cons of analgesic use for chronic pain.  The decision to use analgesics is a personal decision that should be made following a dialogue between you and your doctor.  Some people prefer to use alternative medicine strategies, herbal preparations, gentle yoga, meditation, and others prefer to use pharmaceutical strategies or a combination of these.  Again, this is a personal decision and you know what works better for you.  I'm not going to go into any of these strategies since there is plenty of information and opinions available in blogs and on Web sites.

Getting enough sleep is critical to feeling better.  So many people with chronic illness have difficulty getting restorative sleep.  For those people with fibromyalgia sleep apnea is frequently part of the problem.  Make sure you get evaluated for sleep apnea; it can make all the difference in the world.  Another piece of the puzzle is Willis-Ekbom Disease previously know as Restless Legs Syndrome.  Even if the restlessness you feel is more controlled, this disease can still impair sleep.  Talk with your doctor about the strategies and medications that can help you get a restful night's sleep.

Having something purposeful to do with your time is another strategy that helps to keep your mind off the symptoms that are making you miserable.  A friend of mine makes jewelry to sell so she is able to pace herself and work on her craft as she is able.  She finds a great deal of gratification making her jewelry and when she is able to make jewelry she feels better.  I have gotten involved in a skincare company that allows me to name my own hours and do as much or as little work depending on how I'm feeling.  Both me and my girlfriend can work in our jammies and that's always a plus!  So find a hobby or a job that isn't too demanding and allows for a great deal of flexibility.

There is one strategy that exceeds the power for change in how you feel over all other strategies.  That's the simple act of sharing and caring about one another.  There is nothing worse than being alone with your chronic illness and not having anyone that understands and cares.  Since people that have fibromyalgia tend to be highly sensitive people and frequently have narcissistic and abusive family members, there is no shortage of feeling alone with a debilitating chronic illness.  So all the chronic illness blogs, the tweets on Twitter, the postings on facebook and other social media have the power to make you feel better just because you have someone that cares and expresses love and support.  It's so simple for us to care about one another and there is no one that understands that better than someone with a debilitating chronic illness.  The rest of the world doesn't understand the power of caring and probably take it for granted, and they may not have their priorities established.  When you realize how it feels to be alone with a debilitating chronic illness, it gives you a different perspective.  It is easier to identify authentic and substantive priorities.  In that way, we are very fortunate and it is so good to have you all with me.  Sending love to all of you and wanting you to know that I do understand.  Blessings.