Living with arthritis often involves managing not only physical discomfort but also the emotional toll that chronic pain can bring.
Stress, both physical and emotional, can worsen arthritis symptoms, creating a challenging cycle.
In this article, we'll explore the connection between stress and arthritis, and more importantly, look into effective relaxation and
stress reduction techniques to help people with arthritis lead a more comfortable and balanced life.
Stress is known to impact the body in various ways, and for people with arthritis, it can increase pain and inflammation.
Stress triggers the release of certain hormones, like cortisol, that may contribute to increased inflammation in the joints. When you are feeling stressed it may lead to you adopting unhealthy coping behaviours such as eating unhealthy foods, inactivity, and poor sleep quality.
Stress may also lead to muscle tension, which can worsen your arthritis pain.
Incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can be a powerful way to manage stress and, consequently, alleviate arthritis symptoms. Here are some effective relaxation methods:
#1. Deep Breathing Exercises:
#2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR):
#4. Guided Imagery:
#5. Yoga and Tai Chi:
#1. Prioritise Self-Care
#2. Time Management
#3. Establish Boundaries
#4. Stay Connected
#5. Seek Professional Help
Managing arthritis involves a holistic approach that considers both the physical and emotional aspects of wellbeing.
By incorporating relaxation techniques and adopting stress-reducing habits, people with arthritis can break the stress-pain cycle and improve their overall quality of life.
Taking the time to prioritise self-care and seeking support when needed are crucial steps toward managing stress and, in turn, coping more
effectively with the challenges of living with arthritis.
If you need a good smartphone app, we have listed 5 mindfulness apps & resources that can be beneficial for managing stress:
If you are interested in learning more about managing stress, we have some fantastic pre-recorded webinars on multiple topics to help manage stress - watch the webinars here.
Talk with a peer-mentor in our free Arthritis