The relationship between arthritis and stress is twofold. While coping with the pain brought on by arthritis you may find yourself easily frustrated. In turn, it is proven that stress works to enhance the pain of arthritis.
Taking a step back and looking at the whole picture will help you to see that sometimes it’s the emotional baggage and little things that build up to big-time stress. To get a jump on them:
- Think, “I’m a winner.” Failures and disappointments can make you waste time fretting over what could have been. First, there’s nothing you can do about what’s past. Second, you should challenge the concept of failure: Each setback was a step toward where you’re going — and that’s more important.
- Take a short view. Sure, the future may hold catastrophe — or not. Are you in a crisis right now? If not, don’t sweat what may never come to pass.
- Embrace FAT — file, act, or toss. Keeping those your only options when handling paper will clobber clutter, a sure sign (and often a cause) of things feeling out of control.
- Spend face time with friends. Happy people tend to have real social networks. It’s fine to chat with contacts on the Internet and follow the lives of oversexed sitcom friends on TV. But those people won’t throw you a surprise party or meet you for coffee.
These are only a few of the simple steps you can take to reduce unnecessary stress in your daily life. Remember that stress, which affects arthritis, is best conquered by a comprehensive approach. In addition to making small changes, in the hopes of reaching your goals, try incorporating proven stress-busters, such as meditation and exercise.