Fibromyalgia and Happiness

“People are made happy by one thing and one thing only-pleasant sensations in their bodies”, Yuval Noah Harari

What is happiness? Sometimes I think I have been seeking it my entire life and it still often eludes me. I want to be happy. I have worked at it. I meditate, have done yoga and chi-gong, I even have coloured in books (the newest craze), made quilts and listened to joyful music, all said to enhance creativity which is thought to be integral to being happy. When I was young and religious I prayed. It made me fearful, not happy. I have looked at amazing skies, October foliage, a calm lake and enjoyed their beauty, but I do not often experience the peacefulness that happiness is said to bring. Is the feeling of being at peace the same as feeling happy? Some of the happiness experts say that if you smile often enough it will entice your brain to believe you are happy. I smile often when around others and many would consider me happy. Maybe, then, I do experience happiness, which differs from peacefulness. Perhaps it is so fleeting that it escapes my attention?

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Fibromyalgia and Trauma Memory

” Most of us have unhealthy thoughts and emotions that have either developed as a result of trauma or hardships in their childhood, or the way they were raised”, Steven Seagal

mindfulscientific american 001It would seem that those of us with fibromyalgia have developed the condition at an early age which may have taken a tremendous shock, accident, or crisis to bring about a full blown fibromyalgia. Some of us  have had repeated crises in our sensitive lives and  did not even experience a single unusual occurrence for the syndrome to develop. Nonetheless, we are a group of people with specific personality traits that allow us to dwell on trauma that seems to be stuck in our minds/brains reactivating the experience more frequently than  is healthy. So, how in fact can we find ways to train the brain to refocus away from past trauma? The work of Dr. Richie Davidson, neuroscientist, has presented us with the  interesting option  of “spending as little as 30 minutes per day training our minds to do something different” (p.52 Mindful August 214) which can result in changing the brain. To that end I had decided that quilting was not the answer as I had previously tried that and not had much success (see blog Fibromyalgia and Multitasking, May 17, 2009). Instead I would try my hand at writing about personal issues.

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