Mindfulness for People with EDS

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by Mary Chapman |

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Because Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) affects many different systems in the body simultaneously, you may experience many different symptoms. Coping with them can be a challenge.

A practice called mindfulness may help.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, and the surrounding environment. It involves tuning in to what you’re sensing in the present, rather than rehashing the past or focusing on the future.

The Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches offers a stress-reduction program that teaches that while you can’t always change your situation, you can manage your reaction to it. Being in tune with your thoughts, sensations, and emotions can help alter your perception of your EDS journey.

How can mindfulness help?

Living with EDS can be difficult, but mindfulness may help keep you centered and free of excess stress. In fact, mindfulness-based stress reduction is a meditation therapy that was originally designed for stress management. It can also help people caring for those with chronic diseases.

Different types of structured mindfulness

Body scan meditation, breathing meditation, and walking meditation are examples of structured mindfulness.

Body scan meditation

This involves lying on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. You focus your attention slowly and intentionally on each part of your body, from toe to head or head to toe. As you do that, be aware of any sensations, emotions, or thoughts. If your mind wanders, as it will, recognize this without judging it, then bring your attention back to the moment.

Sitting meditation

In this type of medication, you should sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor, and hands on your lap. Breathing through your nose, you focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. Note when physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, then resume your focus on breathing.

Walking meditation

In this type of medication, you locate a quiet place that’s 10 to 20 feet (three to six meters) in length. You start walking slowly, focusing on the experience. You should remain aware of the sensations of standing, and the fine, delicate movements that help maintain your balance, throughout the exercise. At the end of your path, you turn around and continue walking, while maintaining awareness of the sensations you’re experiencing.

How can I practice mindfulness?

Simple ways to incorporate mindfulness into daily living include:

Being aware

Deliberately use all your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste — to experience your environment.

Staying in the moment

Bring open, accepting, and discerning thoughts to the things you do throughout your day. Avoid “going through the motions.”

Cutting yourself slack

Show yourself grace and compassion. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.

Taking time ‘to be’

Try to suppress negative thoughts (even if only for a minute or two) by sitting with your eyes closed, inhaling deeply and concentrating on your breath as it moves in and out of your body.


Last updated: May 20, 2020


Ehlers-Danlos 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 providers 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.