Of Stress And RA

Stress and RA do not a good mix make.  RA brings enough struggles of its own, we surely don’t need even a little stress added to it.  I had a stressful situation that happened over this weekend and it really stirred up my RA into a frenzy.  But just how does one avoid stress in our lives when it seems stuff is thrown at us front, middle and side?  I don’t think there are easy answers. Probably the best thing we can do is learn how deal with it.  Take steps to avoid it whenever possible.

The University of Washington, Department of Orthopedics lists three components to what they consider a successful stress management plan when you have arthritis.  They are not specifically written for people with RA, but I think they can apply to someone living with any chronic illness.

Reducing stress

1 – Identify the causes of stress in your life.
2 – Share your thoughts and feelings.
3 – Try not to get depressed.
4 – Simplify your life as much as possible.
5 – Manage your time, and conserve your energy.
6 – Set short-term and life goals for yourself.
7 – Do not turn to drugs and alcohol.
8 – Utilize arthritis support and education services.
9 – Become as mentally and physically fit as possible.
10- Develop a sense of humor and have some fun.
11- Get help to cope with hard-to-solve problems.

Accept what you cannot change

1 – Realize that you can change only yourself, not others.
2 – Allow yourself to be imperfect.

Overcoming the harmful effects

1 – Practice relaxation techniques.
2 – Learn to overcome barriers to relaxation.

Stress management is an important part of taking care of ourselves.  It is a skill that we must practice on until we perfect it.  It will aid us in coping with the stress that  comes into our lives in a positive way.  I admit I  have ways to go in perfecting my stress management skills.  At least for me some of the suggestions for reducing stress are more difficult than others to follow, but I am going to keep at it.  It’s a good thing I can do for myself.  I hope that all RA super heroes and heroines out there have as stress free lives as possible. However, when and  if stress to come your way I wish you much success with managing it. Praying for stress free days for all of us.

The Effect Of Stress On Arthritis

Stress And Arthritis

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5 Responses to Of Stress And RA

  1. For me stress comes when I can’t fix the problem. If I can fix the what is bothering me then the stress goes away or doesn’t exist in the first place. But with ra, who has the energy to fix everything? Learning to say no, to let go of many things that even if I could fix I probably shouldn’t be fixing has worked best for me. And I find laughter has helped to relieve so much of my stress also.

  2. Yep, it often happens that way in my life too. I know there are times when it is something I can not do anything about and it’s frustrating. There are other “stressors” though that I can work on but they are sometimes difficult for me. I am getting better at saying “no”, still working on the letting go part too. You are so right about the energy part. With RA I often don’t have enough energy to fix the stress issue and even if I did I would be spent afterwords and back in the same rut. Somethings on that list are like a catch 22 when you have RA. Laughter is a big help to me too. It is good sometimes almost like medicine.

  3. Jan says:

    Stress really does us in. I am trying to repeat Julian of Norwich’s wise words: “All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of things shall be well.”

  4. Pingback: Inspiring Rheumatoid Arthritis Posts |

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