I Can Breathe Again, Away From The Queen’s Land

I only noticed how poorly I was breathing until I landed yesterday night in Lisbon. How did things become so heavy? At what point did I stop being positive and turned into a grumpy, annoying, all-the-time stressed, little gnome? When, exactly, did I stop being ‘me’ to become a human black hole?

Continue reading “I Can Breathe Again, Away From The Queen’s Land”

How I Have Managed Fibromyalgia Symptoms

In this post I’m going to share with how I have managed fibromyalgia symptoms through developing my intuition, working on myself, and by reducing stress in my life. If you want a further explanation about my professional opinion regarding Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and other similar syndromes, please make sure you watch the YouTube video below.

 

 

Two years ago, I bumped into a possible diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I was beginning the second year of my PhD, I had a deficient support network, I felt isolated, and totally uninspired by the research work I was doing the environment  I was working in. At that time, however, I didn’t make a link between what was happening in my life and the way I was feeling, both physically and psychologically.

Little is yet known about Fibromyalgia, its origins and right treatment. Some professionals still believe it is something “made up” in the patient’s head and therefore not real – but trust me, it is very R-E-A-L. You feel tired all the time or you get tired from doing almost nothing; your energy level is consistently low; you may experience brain fog; and last, but not least, you do experience overgeneralised physical pain.

I see Fibromyalgia as an aggravated diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue and in which physical pain and lack of energy become very limiting. The pain does not stem from bruises or any sort of physical trauma, and the lack of energy is not a matter of rest. Medical exams will usually show that everything is normal and there is no reason for the patient to complain – but trust me, we do have a lot to complain about.

It took me a long while to understand the root cause of my Fibromyalgia symptoms. Even though I’ve been all about the mind-body connection for the last couple of years, I was not aware of how my past blockages and current unhappiness were fuelling my “invisible” pain. Two things helped me realising that:

  • I started to notice that when I was happy, had something to be happy about, or I was simply taking good care of myself (i.e. eating good food, exercising, doing things I love),  I had no pain and I would have enough energy; and
  • I read a couple of blogs written by fibromyalgia patients and through their posts I realised that the majority of them (myself included!!!) were being negative about life and themselves, would have no hope for the future, and also present signs of depression

From this point on, I started to pay more attention to the link between what was happening in my life, what my lifestyle looked like, and how was I feeling, both physically and psychologically. As soon as I became more aware of these aspects, I developed a greater sense of intuition which led me to also identify what I needed to change in order to have more energy and experience greater flow in life. Below are five of the things I did to manage my symptoms, and which I strongly recommend to anyone who is considering a potential fibromyalgia diagnosis or has been already diagnosed by a sensitive professional.

Go Within

I know this is cliche but it is the only way to find out what will work best for you. One of the biggest sources of help was the identification of my mental and emotional blockages. More often than not we go through life in “automatic pilot” and we are not even aware of what we really feel and how different life’s situations affect us. Moreover, going within is also the best way to know what solutions you actually need: some people may need to reduce their physical activity, while others may need the exact opposite!

Build Up Your Courage and Motivation

Change is hard work. Whoever says otherwise is probably lying. Human beings are naturally resistant to any sort of change; we like to keep things controlled and smooth. To overcome some of the fibromyalgia symptoms, you will need to face things you may not want to face or that you may feel you are not prepared for. However, if you don’t face your shadow, your blockages, your fears, you can’t fully heal. In order to move forward in life and have space to flow, we must release what no longer serves us. It takes courage and motivation. It takes dedication. Please bare this in mind.

Pay Attention to What You Eat

I have a strong emotional relationship with food and my eyes have crossed at least a dozen of different diets – from souping to keto diet, you pick and choose. Each person needs to know and find what works best for them, but there is some basic assumptions that I believe to true and suitable for everyone: you got to eat your greens and you have to go as natural as possible. I strongly recommend that you eat more high vibrational foods such as vegetables, berries, and nuts. To learn more about this, please consider reading this and this blog post.

Relationship Quality

Relationships and how one deals with them seems to be often a common issue among fibromyalgia patients. This means that you may want to have a closer look on whether there are too much toxic relationships in your life or whether you struggle to be assertive (i.e. having to say NO when you actually mean NO) with certain people. Due to the natural complexity of human relationships, these are also frequently a source of stress, so if you can manage them better, the less energy you will have to spend worrying  and ruminating about them.

Self-Empowerment

Last but not least, you may need to also look and work your self-esteem, your self-confidence, and self-worth. Sometimes we think so poorly of ourselves that we get drained by our own negative thoughts and limiting beliefs. Working on aspects such as your shadow self and overall happiness will help you with having more stamina, energy, and motivation in life. Please remember that all is energy – if it is not flowing, it is because something is blocking it and this may well be your self-perception.

And this it my well-being folks, this is all I have learned so far through my own experience, research, and countless mind-body medicine study hours. I hope some of these inputs can be useful to you. If you want more detailed information and tips, please make sure you watch my YouTube video on this, because I shared a few more details in there that might help you too. In there you will also find a FREE exercise to help you manage the symptoms.

Do let me know too about your own experience with fibro, chronic fatigue, or any other similar syndrome as I’m sure we can learn more about it together and eventually help who needs this kind of information.

Much love and healing on your way.

PS: You can also connect with me daily through my Instagram account here, and if you are a Portuguese speaker, you may also want to visit my Portuguese page on Facebook here.

 

Want A Marvellous Christmas? Follow These 3 Psychological Strategies

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas – a holy season for some and certainly a special event to gather the whole family for many other. However, and as with everything in life, this can be either perceived as a good thing, if you have a good relationship with your family, or a bad thing, if conflict is more present than not, and thus you don’t fancy this season at all.

The good news is that changing the way we perceive reality changes the way we feel and respond to it as well. Therefore, if Christmas is not such a pleasant time for you, using the following strategies can help you to cope better and save you from some of the distress and dread that may come with this holiday.

Gratitude

When we’re under stress, it’s hard to have a good time. A way to improve our mental state and our mood is to think about what we are grateful for in life. From little details to bigger achievements, when we go through such milestones and memories it’s like we are automatically uplifted. This happens because as we recall such positive events we somehow relive them mentally and we produce the same hormones as we did in the first time. Plus, we put a stop in what is feeding our negative outlook.

Savouring 

If you’re familiar with mindfulness, savouring will be an easy concept to put in practise. Savouring is all that we do or think that intensifies the positive benefits of a moment, either by extending its duration and/or enriching its quality. This sounds good but still rather abstract, right? To help you out, here are some concrete savouring strategies that you can use: share what you’re feeling in the moment with others, increase your sensory perception (e.g. pay attention to smells and sounds), and focus on the good side of the situation. In sum, everything you do to enrich your moment to moment experience will allow you to savour the present and also build up more vivid memories that you can recall in the future and feel grateful for.

Appreciation 

In line with savouring, appreciation means that you focus on the good side of people or the situation you’re in instead of solely paying attention to what is wrong or not so positive. For instances, if people start moaning around you or chatting about all the bad things that are going on, either remove yourself from the conversation or decide not to contribute to the shared negativity. You can also opt for driving the conversation to something more positive – after all, it’s Christmas and it’s time to celebrate the good deeds.