Meditation is a beautiful way to unwind, relax and relieve stress, all of which are incredibly important when you have fibromyalgia syndrome.
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The more stress you are under when dealing with fibromyalgia, the worse your symptoms will be because stress increases fibromyalgia pain and exacerbates other symptoms.
Stress reduction is essential for anyone with fibromyalgia, and meditation can be an effective tool.
Try to keep meditation simple. Start small; do breathing exercises for a few minutes, then gradually, with more practice, it will become easier to meditate longer and try other forms of meditation.
Don't worry if you find that you're struggling with meditation in the beginning. Meditation gets easier the more you do it.
Remind yourself of your goals, keep practicing, and don't give up.
GET YOUR MEDITATION SPACE READY
Before starting with meditation, you need to have a comfortable place to practice. Try sitting on your bed or sofa in the family room. A meditation space doesn't need to be an entire room with a door you can shut, but this is helpful.
When choosing the area for meditation, make sure you can sit and relax, free of distractions, and not worry about anything in the environment, from sounds to smells.
Whether in your bedroom, office, or guest room with a corner specifically for setting up a dedicated medication space, try to meditate in the same place.
Consider what you want in this special space, pillows, a fuzzy blanket, or perhaps your favorite comfy chair. Place items there that you might use when meditating, such as a book of poetry, religious texts, music, a candle or aromatherapy diffuser, a singing bowl, or healing crystals.
Now you are ready to spend some time meditating. Get comfortable in your meditation spot and relax for a few minutes. You might enjoy lighting a candle and turning on soft music. Or take a few minutes to do breathing exercises.
Start with breathing in and out, focusing on your body as you do so.
Inhale a deep breath in through your nose, feel your diaphragm move and observe how your body feels as you inhale.
Then breathe out through your mouth and notice the difference in feeling as you exhale and let that breath out.
Repeat this breathing exercise as long as you need until you begin to feel relaxed and focused solely on your breathing rather than your thoughts.
If this practice doesn't come easy for you, try to set a timer for just one minute. Close your eyes, and try not to push your mind free of thoughts; instead, prioritize focusing on your breathing.
Keep practicing this one-minute breathing exercise regularly until you can do it clear your mind, increase the timer by a minute, and repeat. In time and with practice, you'll find higher levels of relaxation.
RELAX BEFORE MEDITATING
You can add meditation to your nighttime routine as part of your evening unwind. Before you start meditating, it can be good to be relaxed, which will help you ease into meditation faster.
One way to do this is to have a bath in the evening as part of your nighttime routine. By relaxing your body after a long day and relieving some stress with bath salts and candles, you'll feel ready to relax your mind by meditating.
Another way to feel relaxed and prepared for meditation is a short relaxing yoga session. Try gentle yoga, such as restorative yoga, before or after meditation.
Combining yoga with meditation can help both of these practices with more self-awareness and relaxation.
Try doing yoga before meditation in the evening to help relieve stress, relax your body, help get better sleep, and get into a positive mindset for more peaceful dreams.
It would be best to try this simple meditation this evening paired with a bath or yoga to release the day's stress.
Yoga also works as a method of meditation because of the concentration on the here and now. You are mindful of the movements you are making and the positions of your body.
Each action is purposeful, and slowly and carefully, you are fully mindful of each move you make. When you practice this manner, you are mindfully aware of your feelings, physical movements, and what’s happening in your mind.
In yoga, you allow breathing to enter your body and then leave your body, taking your stress and anxiety with it.
TRY THIS SIMPLE MEDITATION
Get comfortable in your meditation space; you want to have somewhere where you can have ten to twenty minutes of undisturbed. Put your mobile phone on mute and remove anything else that could become a distraction.
Now, sit comfortably and quietly.
Decide it's time to focus on performing meditation. Commit to not allowing distractions to interrupt you. Shut out the world around you.
Select a word that fits your natural belief system—for example, use love, harmony, peace, happiness, or gratitude. If you're spiritual, try a short phrase that signifies what you believe; God is love, Hallelujah, or Om, for example. Close your eyes once you've decided on the right word for you. Closing your eyes helps with focus as you enter into mediation.
Now, we'll go through and relax each muscle of the body.
Start with your toes. Consciously tell yourself that your toes should loosen up; perhaps you'd like to wiggle them, one at a time or all together. Do whatever feels best to help feel them relax.
Next, move to your feet, arch your feet and back to a comfortable position, then your legs; you might like to stretch them out, then relax them, and so on. You don't have to move if you prefer. Just consciously focusing on relaxing each muscle. Do what you want to allow each of your muscles to relax.
Ensure to include your neck, facial muscles, jaw, arms, fingers and hands, shoulders, back, and hips. As this happens, you should feel built-up tension leave your body.
Continue to breathe in deep, long breaths and repeat your meditation word over and over again. Breathe in, say your word, breathe out, and repeat. You don't need to say the word out loud but rather mentally pronounce it.
If any thoughts come into your mind while you are sitting, relaxing, let them go out simply by telling yourself, "oh well." This can be difficult at first, so don't worry about how well you are doing. Just let go of those words the best that you can. Keep repeating your meditation word, too.
Keep this going for ten minutes, and if you can continue for twenty, that's great. No need to use a timer; open your eyes briefly to check.
Sit and relax for a few more minutes once you’ve finished your meditation. You might like to keep your eyes closed for a few minutes before opening them. Then, take your time to adjust back to your surroundings before standing up.
Well done. Have a large glass of water and consider also having a cup of relaxing herbal tea, like chamomile tea.
You might find that this simple meditation also works well at the start of your day to release any morning tension and stress of a restless night. Start your day with a calm mind, and your body can help you face your day and handle stress and pain better.
After several days of this type of mediation for several days, you'll start to see the benefits of meditation and what it can offer. However, suppose you don’t feel any different. In that case, you may need to ensure that you focus on your body and breath and not on whether or not meditation will work.
However, other types of meditation might be more effective for you personally. A couple of alternatives may be helpful to you for reducing stress and helping you manage your fibromyalgia symptoms.
In addition, here are a few more examples of meditation methods that you can learn and practice for your benefit.
Walking meditation is a two-for-one fibromyalgia therapy you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle.
Engage in light exercise. It’s scientifically proven that mild to moderate physical activity can lessen the feelings of chronic pain, alleviate stress and improve mood.
In addition, exercise can strengthen your muscles, lubricate your joints, and improve your mental health to tolerate your pain better. Additionally, a recent study showed that short bursts of daily movement throughout the day help improve fibromyalgia pain.
Walking meditation sounds much more straightforward than it is, but it's worth trying to maximize the benefits of both walking and meditation.
When was the last time you focused attention on your movements when walking?
When you walk, you may think about the countless things you have to do, where you are going, and who’s talking to you. But not the movements of walking itself, which can offer a high level of relaxation when focused on.
By concentrating on walking, you can better experience relaxation and the movements of walking itself. Through this, you can enter into a new awareness of the world around you and your physical self.
HERE’S HOW WALKING MEDITATION WORKS
Start with taking note of how you feel in your body. Then begin to pay attention to your body as you walk. You should note how it feels, not just walking but how it affects each part of your body.
For example, you should feel the ground hitting the bottom of your foot. In addition, you should feel the muscles in your legs and back tighten with each step that you take. Pay attention to these things.
Focus your attention now on each of your feet. Start with just one foot. As it hits the ground, please take notice of it. Feel each foot's up and down movement separately; notice how it feels. Continue to do this repeatedly until it almost becomes a mantra that you are saying to yourself.
If you find your mind wandering off, it's ok. Simply bring yourself back to focus on your movements again. Your eyes should be watching in front of you without really looking at anything in particular. Don’t focus on anything else. The focus will help you take your meditation to the next level of meditation.
There is another type of meditation that is important to mention, mindfulness meditation, which has many benefits to stress reduction, managing anxiety, and living with Fibromyalgia.
A clinical trial, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology Journal in 2007, concluded that mindfulness meditation-based intervention significantly improved depressive symptoms among patients with fibromyalgia.
Mindfulness meditation can help turn the brain down to low. So if you have constant thoughts racing through your head and often find that there’s too much noise happening in your mind at any time, then this type of meditation may be one of the best types for you.
In mindfulness meditation, you do not use a mantra or a breathing focus to help you enter into a state of meditation. Instead, you focus on what is happening in the present moment, not the future or the past. You will learn how to focus on what is happening right now, at this very second.
You're going to concentrate on the quality of your awareness. You'll be what is called a “silent witness,” which means that you will silently be aware of what is happening around you at that very moment. So you are witnessing what’s happening around you.
Mindfulness meditation helps you be present in the moment, rather than passive to what happens in your daily life. In mindfulness meditation you take in the world around you through everything you do. Each thing you do or encounter, you fully experience everything uniquely.
HOW DO YOU DO MINDFULNESS MEDITATION?
Suppose you are hungry and grab an apple for a snack. In that case, you bite it, chew, and swallow while probably watching television or even sitting scrolling on your phone. But, when you use mindfulness meditation when eating food, things change considerably.
Now, you are not only taking a bite of an apple. You're observing the apple in every way.
You ask yourself, what does it feel like in your hand? How does the apple smell?
First, take in its color and its weight. Then, as you take a bite, hear the crunch of the apple’s skin, the texture of the apple’s inside, and how the juices come out of the apple as you chew.
It doesn't just have to do with food either. With mindfulness meditation, you can bring the same level of awareness to everything you are doing.
For example, your hand on your computer's mouse, putting on your shoes, and moving your pen on the paper are all activities when you can use mindfulness meditation.
When you practice mindfulness repeatedly, you gain the benefits of meditation over and over again. That means that you’ll often enter into a relaxed state, probably dozens of times each day.
Meditation does require practice. It's common that people to try it once or twice and give up because they find it difficult. Yes – it is hard in the beginning.
It might seem unnatural when you start, and you may need to push yourself to practice. Don't forget, though, that everyone who masters meditation has done so by practicing!
Please give it more than a few chances before writing it off as something not working for you.