Feeling Overwhelm, Resistance, or Listlessness? Try This.

Image of woman feeling overwhelmed and listless

Discover why you feel overwhelmed and learn a technique to get in the flow.

Do you ever feel resistant and overwhelmed in response to some everyday needs or tasks such as:

Part of it is that the flu-like symptoms and brain fog of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) or Fibromyalgia (FM) make any seemingly easy task more difficult. Another part of it—the part I want to offer some help for in this article—is that the brains of people with ME/CFS or FM work differently from those of healthy people.

Let me first share with you how scientific findings in ME/CFS and FM explain why we feel easily listless and overwhelmed. Then, in the next section, I will share with you a way of working around your brain handicaps. This has worked for me and others.

My article was published as a guest post on one of my favorite blogs, “Health Rising.” Click here to read the article:

http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/06/30/combating-overwhelm-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/

Warmly,
Johannes

A Simple Way to Feel More Joy and Peace
When You Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia

Image of woman feeling gratitude

Let the sun burst through the clouds.

It can be challenging to keep up your spirits as, on a daily basis, you have to face your symptoms and possibly other illness-related hardships, such as loss of relationships or financial stress.

Therefore I want to share with you a simple technique for filling up your reserves of emotional energy. The technique is called “making a gratitude list”.

I made my first gratitude list at a time when I was still so ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) that I thought I would never be able to work or exercise again, and was sure my partner would abandon me. While I was slow to discover aspects of my life to be grateful for at first, I eventually discovered more and more as I stuck with the practice. When I contemplated what I was grateful for, it helped me to forget for a moment all that I was lacking.

Over the last four years of looking out for little things in my life to be grateful for, feeling grateful has become second nature, and now I can count on it as a continued source of positive emotional energy.

If you want this too, have a look with me at this simple technique for feeling better: [Read more…]

How to Let Go of Anger (and Regret) –
And Why It’s Important in ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia

Sometimes feel angry? Learn how to reduce your symptoms by letting go of it.

Sometimes feel angry? Learn how to feel better (and likely reduce your symptoms along the way).

Andrew, an airline pilot, was troubled by anger and regret when he thought about how his company had let him down when he had gotten sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS).

Even though he loved his job and did his very best to excel in it, he had always needed to take slightly more sick days than his colleagues. Sometimes, due to jet-lag, he hadn’t been able to sleep the night before a flight and had therefore felt too tired to safely fly his passenger airplane. His company, instead of supporting him in flying only when he felt well and rested, had put pressure on him and treated him with disrespect.

With pain and indignation, Andrew still remembered his boss’ face when he had been ordered into his office and spoken to as if he were a child.  “How can my boss talk to me like that?” Andrew said visibly shaken during one of our coaching sessions.

This painful memory still kept Andrew awake at night—not only because the associated emotion was very intense, but also because his sensitivity to stress had increased since he had come down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (as is common in ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia).

How Andrew let go of his hurt and anger

To help Andrew sleep better, we looked at ways for him to let go of the painful memory and move on. We settled on a technique inspired by a process called “The Work” from world-renowned therapist and healer Byron Katie.

Let me walk you through the five steps of this technique (10-20min), so that you, too, can use it to let go of old feelings, memories, and thoughts that no longer serve you. [Read more…]

The Uplifting Health Lesson I Learned From Buying a Fixer-Upper

Why there is hope.

Why there is hope.

A few of months ago, this entire place was covered by a layer of one inch of dirt. Dog hair was everywhere, one wall had mold, and the roof leaked in a couple of spots. The backyard was a mix of weeds, garbage, and dirt.

If this place was a human body, it would have been the perfect equivalent to how my body felt during the first eighteen months of my journey with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS). The brain fog, my gut problems, my inability to exercise had me think that my body was in real bad shape and – unlike this house – impossible to repair.

Today, six years from the date I was hit by ME / CFS and a few months after we started fixing up this place, I just came inside my living room from digging up little weedy tree trunks that were spread all over the backyard. The first thing I felt when I lied down on my couch to rest, was a lot of gratitude for being able do this work again—something I thought impossible a few years ago.

Then it occurred to me that rehabilitating this formerly run-down house is very similar to my recovery journey from chronic fatigue syndrome. I believe it’s an uplifting story if you are in the depth of things right now, so let me share it with you. [Read more…]

How to Enjoy a Vacation Even Though You Have ME / CFS or Fibromyalgia

Seven tips for how to make the most of a vacation -- despite your limitations

Seven tips for how to make the most of a vacation — despite your limitations

Did you go on a vacation this summer?

If yes, how was it?

The reason I’m asking is that it’s likely that some things were great, but other things might have been challenging. Life with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia isn’t always easy, and going on vacation is no exception.

And when is a better time to ensure that next year’s vacation will be even better than this year’s? Right now, when your memories are still fresh!

Let’s take a moment to reflect then.

First, I’ll share with you seven easy-to-use tips I’ve gathered from my coaching clients’ and my own experiences over this past summer. [Read more…]

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