Jul 14, 2019

Ways to Stop Negative Feelings that can Intensify Arthritis Pain

Chronic pain can easily turn your life into a vicious cycle of pain feeding pessimism. Feeling down because of arthritis is expected to a certain degree, but if your mindset becomes totally pessimistic you are actually allowing your pain to increase. If you’re feeling cynical and hopeless, you are less likely to be compliant with medications, treatments, exercise, and positive actions. It is important to realize that there is a mind-body connection and you have to take control of it in order to stop the cycle of negativity and pain. Keep reading for ways to help stop negative feelings that can intensify arthritis pain.

Apply mindfulness.

Many emotional and mental treatments can help ease the negative anxiety associated with arthritis pain. According to the National Institute of Health, studies show that the practice of mindful meditation is extremely helpful for people with painful joints. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that teaches you to be present in the moment and stop allowing your thoughts to wander. Start by sitting quietly for 10 minutes each day. Focus on the sensation of your breath. When your mind starts to wander to other thoughts, simply refocus your attention back to your intentional breathing.

Get more sleep.

Adequate amounts of sleep is good for the body and mind. Getting quality amounts of sleep aids in making positive lifestyle choices and helps to reduce negative thoughts. More importantly, sleep and pain are linked. If you don’t sleep well you will probably have more pain; and if you are in pain, you are less likely to sleep well. To set your new sleep cycle up for success, start by selecting a specific bedtime and sticking to it every night. Utilize an app or Fitbit if you need a little extra help getting to bed on time. Start getting ready well before your designated time and when it is time for lights out, make sure your room is very dark. Ensure your room is tidy, get rid of electronics, and keep the temperature slightly chilly for optimal rest.

Alter your activities.

It is essential that you don’t let arthritis force you to give up on the things you love. Your hobbies should be a release from your pain and without them it’s even easier to slide into a spiral of negativity. Discuss which activities are safe with your doctor and find creative and realistic ways to continue to enjoy them.

Set goals.

Set small and realistic goals for yourself and work on completing them one day at a time. With a specific plan and goals in mind, you can evaluate what you are not happy with and work to change those circumstances. With realistic goals and a sensible plan of action you can focus and make adjustments to improve your quality of life. When you are focused on goals and changes, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to wallow in negative thoughts.

Keep things in perspective.

When you are diagnosed with arthritis, it can be easy to go to a dark place and that’s o.k. sometimes. However, it’s helpful to focus 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 your community.

Spend time with your doctor.

When it comes to staying positive, the best support system you can have is your rheumatology team. Support and education provided by your arthritis doctor is always your best resource. Carolina Arthritis has a team of physicians here for you to help you on your journey.

If you have any questions on your physical or mental health, call the team at Carolina Arthritis today. We would love to be a part of your support system and help you live your best and most positive life!