Coping with stress properly is important. Research has implied that high levels of stress can cause headaches, disturb sleep, lead to high blood pressure, depression, and likely complicate other illnesses as well. Coping with stress properly becomes even more important if you are one of more than 40 million Americans living with arthritis.
The complications and challenges of living with the chronic pain caused by arthritis can create stress. This can create a cycle within the relationship between arthritis and stress. The stress that comes with having the disease can cause muscle tension and increased pain along with worsening arthritic symptoms. These symptoms can lead back to…you guessed it…more stress.
So how should arthritis sufferers cope with this vicious cycle? The key is to reduce as much stress as possible. The following are tips that can help:
- Identify the causes of stress in your life that are within your control.
- Share your thoughts and feelings with someone.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
- Simplify your life as much as possible.
- Manage your time and conserve your energy.
- Set both short-term and long-term goals for yourself.
- Utilize arthritis support and education services.
- Focus on becoming as mentally and physically fit as possible.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.