Negative Thoughts Increase Stress, Worsen Fibromyalgia Symptoms

By Joana Fernandes

Rumination – a way of thinking characterized by repetitive, intrusive and uncontrollable negative thoughts – may influence several psychological variables, such as coping and optimism, which can amplify the sense of perceived stress in fibromyalgia (FM), according to a new study.

FM is characterized by widespread pain and high levels of sleep disturbance, fatigue and altered cognition, which can be exacerbated by psychological stress, personality types, coping and anxiety. Certain styles of thinking, such as rumination, also can affect FM by inducing emotional stress.

“We hypothesized that higher levels of rumination would be associated with psychological variables that are linked to stress itself,” the authors wrote in the study. “These variables include mood, control, optimism, sleep and coping. We aimed to examine the role of rumination thinking style and to explore whether this thinking style contributes to stress levels in FM.”

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