I could recommend a ton of resolutions to help you manage your endometriosis, but I know that New Year’s goals can seem daunting. So this year, I decided to make suggestions that are less scary and add to your life, rather than take away from it.
Mindfulness for pain
If chronic pain is something that’s affecting your daily life, mindfulness for pain may be helpful for you. The practice is based on the theory that pain has two components: primary and secondary. Primary pain is the physical pain itself, while secondary pain is our brain’s reaction to it, which can intensify the pain we experience.
When it comes to living with chronic pain, our feelings about the pain can naturally lead to depression and anxiety, causing us to live in fear of the next flare-up. Mindfulness for pain can help us to adjust our perspective on our pain, change the way our mind responds to it, and even reduce it.
You can do online courses or in-person classes on mindfulness for pain. I found this article particularly useful for understanding the benefits of the practice for chronic pain conditions.
Gratitude journals sound a bit cliché, but gratitude, much like mindfulness, has been shown to be beneficial to our well-being. Studies have found that gratitude can have a positive effect on many areas of mental health, including outlook and mood.
While I’ve managed to get my endometriosis symptoms under control, I haven’t been able to shake the anxiety and depression that kicked in when my endometriosis returned several years ago. Then, following my attendance at some talks on gratitude and watching interesting videos on the research about it, I decided to give the gratitude thing a go.
I still struggle with depression and anxiety, but taking time to be grateful has made these conditions more bearable and has improved how I feel about my life and condition. Every morning, I write down three things I’m grateful for so I can start my day feeling boosted. And before our evening meal, my partner and I tell each other what we’re thankful for that day.
You don’t have to start writing a gratitude journal; you could name a few things in your mind each night as you go to sleep, or try different techniques for cultivating gratitude.
Whatever you decide to do, being more grateful is good for all of us.
Yoga has an uplifting and calming effect. I find the practice to be the quickest way to get myself out of a dark mood or cheer myself up if endometriosis is giving me a hard time.
Whenever I practice yoga, I feel my perspective shift and my mental state alter as I move. It’s almost as if the imaginary chains that bind me fall off with each pose, and by the end of the session, I am free of them. The issues I am struggling with still exist, but they have less of a grip on me.
Yoga is also a beautiful way of making peace with your body. Our physical bodies are often where painful feelings, both physical and emotional, reside, but yoga can transform these experiences, even if it’s just for one hour. Feeling and watching my body move in new ways brings me hope and confidence that it is capable of overcoming the limitations that endometriosis puts on it.
What are you hoping to start in 2019 to help you manage your endometriosis?
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.