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‼️ Fibromyalgia can leave sufferers drained of energy and in excruciating pain. When people ask them out, they ma… https://t.co/484TrgEJWY

Relaxation Technique for Fibromyalgia.

Finding a relaxation technique that you can use is a very useful tool for people with FM. Relaxing your body can help with pain levels as the more tense you are the worse the pain will get. Relaxing your mind can help with stress, anxiety and depression, you can learn to ‘push’ your worries to one side and a calm mind can help you think more clearly, rationalise your thoughts or just chill out for a while.

There are ‘quick fix’ relaxation techniques such as those you see in newspapers and magazines, the sort of technique  you can carry out for a couple of minutes during your busy work schedule, sitting at your desk. These are not lasting techniques and are a short sharp shock to your system which isn’t what you need for long lasting problems such as occur with FM. 

For people with FM the best techniques are slow, progressive relaxations which act on both your physical and your mental state. With practice you can alter your mental state whenever you need to so if you feel yourself getting anxious about your pain, feel a panic attack coming on or notice that your mood is beginning to go way down, you can stop and step back from it all. 

As I said, these aren’t quick fixes, they need time and effort, you have to practice them whenever you can, at the very least once a day. Think of it as your FM homework. Some people will find it easier to do than others but no matter how difficult it is the rewards far out way the time and effort you put in and the more you practice the easier it will get. If it helps imagine a calm low voice telling you what to do.   

Firstly you have to find somewhere you can relax, there’s no one place it depends on the individual. You could lie on the bed, sit in your favourite chair or curl up in a beanbag; as long as you are comfortable and not likely to be disturbed. 

Next close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Slowly and gradually slow your breathing down, taking longer, deeper breaths. Remember to take your time, if you rush the process you’ll end up getting short of oxygen and then you’ll be gasping and panting which will defeat the object. 

Once your breathing is slow and deep imagine a sensation such as heaviness  in part of your body or a warm glowing light shining on you. Then slowly concentrate on that sensation and imagine it spreading outwards until it covers the whole of you.    

When you first start to try this it is usually helpful to repeat this part a few times to reinforce the feeling or you can imagine it increasing in effect each time, getting heavier or warmer. It can also help to count up or down while you are doing it as a concentration aid. 

The next stage is to count while you imagine yourself floating down, a little lower with each count. Remember you are floating like a feather on the breeze, drifting slowly and gently down. 

When you feel you have reached the bottom you have arrived in your safe place. Again this is an individual thing, it can be a real place such as your bedroom when you were a child or it can be an imaginary place, somewhere you feel safe and loved; a meadow or a warm beach. Take your time to fully imagine it, notice the colours, the smells, the sounds. Are there birds singing? Can you smell wild flowers or coffee brewing? Those of you with pets could imagine they are there with you, a comforting presence. Perhaps there are friendly animals around, squirrels in the trees, rabbits running around on the grass or birds on the branches of a tree outside a window. It’s a warm place, light, sunshine, a breeze perhaps but there is nothing cold, scary, frightening or worrying, everything is calm with no pain and no stress. 

While you are in your safe place you can think of positive affirmations, think of things that are good about yourself. ‘I...’ statements such as ‘I am strong.’, ‘I can do... whatever’, ‘I will be able to do... whatever’ Make the statements as simple as possible. The more complicated they are the harder they will be to remember so the more likely you will come out of your safe place trying to remember them. If you want you can write them down and have them in front of you, with practice you will be able to open your eyes briefly to glance at them if you need to. Write down things that are relevant to you, how you want to change your outlook or the way you do things. If you are depressed then write down things such as ‘I will feel happier today’; if you have anxiety problems then something such as ‘I will soon be able to go shopping on my own’ or whatever it is you are worried about.   

If there is nothing worrying on your mind at the time then just visit for a while and sit and enjoy the peace, use it as a way of resting, as part of your pacing.  When you have finished and feel ready to come back to reality do it SLOWLY. Don’t jump up straight away, slowly open your eyes and become aware of your surroundings. Don’t get out of your chair or off the bed immediately, slowly stretch your arms and legs as though you have been asleep.  

Once you can do this, then wherever you go you will have your safe place with you, if you feel anxious or stressed then just close your eyes briefly and imagine yourself back in your happy place. Let the emotions associated with it wash over you. All the feelings you have in your safe place will come to you when you think about it just as ‘bad’ feelings wash over you when you think about something you don’t like.  

A word of warning, make sure you are safe when you do this if you are out and about; obviously closing your eyes while driving or crossing the road is a bad idea. Pull over to the side of the road, find a bench to sit down on for a rest, make sure you aren’t in anyone’s way.

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