May 10, 2017

Live Well: Facing Arthritis with Resiliency


Arthritis is a chronic disease. This means that while there are treatments that can be very effective, there is no cure. For this reason, some people find it difficult to remain strong in the face of a chronic diagnosis. However, many studies have shown that learning how to respond to pain with a positive outlook can help patients become more resilient and lead happier, more comfortable lives.

Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” It requires toughness and elasticity, or the ability to be both strong and flexible. Resiliency is what allows you to keep going despite the pain and stress of your arthritis. Studies have shown that resilient people recover faster, manage pain more effectively, and have better overall health than their less resilient counterparts. It has real benefits, and should be cultivated as part of every treatment plan.

So how do you become more resilient, especially when you’ve received a tough diagnosis? The answer: by taking small steps and making slow progress. No matter how long it takes, or how many setbacks you experience, your resiliency will continue to grow, even on the hardest days. The following tips will help it grow a little bit faster.

Find an effective medication combination. 

The best thing you can do for your chronic diagnosis is to find a treatment plan that works. This means making an appointment with a knowledgeable, experienced doctor, and working together to find the right combination of medications. This will help develop resiliency because you’ll begin to feel better, your disease will become more manageable, and you’ll have the support of your doctor. Take action on this first step today, and contact Carolina Arthritis.

Focus on the positive.

When you are diagnosed with arthritis, it can be easy to go to a dark place. You might wonder what you did to deserve this. However, it can be helpful to focus instead on the positive things in your life and embrace optimism instead. Arthritis is a challenge, but it’s not the end of the world. Everyone has their own struggles, and focusing on others and being empathetic isn’t just a good distraction—it’s also good for the world. Try volunteering for a cause that is important to you, or working with those less fortunate. This is a great way to keep your struggles in perspective and contribute some good to the world.

Educate yourself and keep learning.

Resiliency is easier when you understand your diagnosis and what it means. Take the time to talk to your doctor. Join a group, read arthritis blogs, and subscribe to magazines. Understanding your disease will enable you to manage it more effectively, help you feel in control, and prove that you are not alone.

Work it out (literally).

Exercise has been shown to decrease anxiety, improve sleep, and increase levels of mood-boosting chemicals. Your daily workout can be as simple as an after-dinner walk, a gentle yoga class, or water aerobics. If you don’t currently have an exercise program, start small and start slow. Eventually you’ll be able to add more, but you’ll feel the benefit the whole time. As your body gets stronger, so will your resiliency.

 We hope these tips help you live well by strengthening your resilience in the face of your diagnosis! For more information, “like” us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.