Fibromyalgia pain: Options for coping

If you have fibromyalgia, difficult days are inevitable. Coping strategies range from meditation to watching a funny movie. By Mayo Clinic Staff

Fibromyalgia pain tends to fluctuate. On the days when your fibromyalgia pain flares, everything you try to do can seem more difficult. It's easy to become discouraged.

One of the hardest things to accept may be that there is no cure for fibromyalgia. While lifestyle changes and medications can lessen the severity of your fibromyalgia pain or fatigue, you will continue to have good days and bad days.

Why prepare a list in advance?

When fibromyalgia pain or fatigue is severe, you might not be thinking clearly. A flare of fibromyalgia symptoms can send you into a spiral of stress and despair if you aren't prepared. But having a plan to follow gives you a sense of control over your signs and symptoms.

Write down your options for coping and keep your list where you can find it when you feel a bad day coming. Different strategies work better for some people than for others. Some may work fine for you on one day but not on another. That's why it's good to have a variety of options to choose from.

Avoid negative self-talk

Studies have shown that what we say to ourselves inside our heads can affect our perception of pain. Turning negative thoughts into positive ones takes practice but is worth the effort.

NegativePositive
I can't do anything because of my symptoms. I can do many things. I just need to pace myself and take breaks.
I have no control over my happiness. The pain controls me. I can control my happiness. I can be happy and enjoy life despite pain.
People at work are upset with me. They don't think I'm doing my share. I will do the best job I can and feel good about my accomplishments.
Dec. 16, 2011 See more In-depth