Fighting Stress in Arthritis Patients

Fighting Stress in Arthritis Patients

Arthritis is a condition that causes a feeling of pain and stiffness in one or more of your joints. The stress that is occurring in your life can make your arthritis pain worse. By finding ways to fight through your stress, your symptoms can lessen, making you feel much healthier.

Stress Arthritis Patients Deal With

The mind and body are connected to each other. Dealing with stressful situations like losing a job, having to move to a new area, the death of a loved one, or other stressors causes our bodies to react with side effects such as stomach aches, headaches, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, etc. People with arthritis already have their own unique stressors like having to depend on family members and health care professionals instead of being able to independently take care of themselves. They also have to adapt to necessary changes they must make to their job, energy levels, and more. 

Effects of Stress Towards Arthritis

Being under stress can cause your muscles to tense up. This muscle tension can increase the pain that arthritis has already caused, and can ultimately lead to the development of depression. When you are stressed, the body releases chemicals into the blood that create a series of physical changes, such as a faster heartbeat and a higher breathing rate. When you deal with your stress in a positive way, your body will fix itself, including any damage that was caused by stress. A small amount of stress can be good for you, as it can motivate you to do your best; whereas too much stress can lead to an inability to function.

Find the Cause of Stress

Think about what causes you the most worry on a daily basis. Also, think about what makes you anxious and nervous. You can write down your daily experiences in a journal, then review your entries to help give you a clear picture of what is bothering you (as well as the physical symptoms you are experiencing). Once you are aware of the situations, you can identify ways to help prevent those situations from happening, which you may also want to write down. For example, if you get anxious when family members are coming over and they are expecting you to cook, find the recipe and buy the materials in advance. 

Share Your Feelings

Speak to a family member, friend, or co-worker about how you are feeling to help you see your problems differently. Be open to them about things that you cannot do—and do not be afraid to ask for help. Turning down extra responsibilities that you know you have difficulties accomplishing can help reduce your stress. Remember that your arthritis is a private matter. If your arthritis is interfering with your daily duties, it is best to mention it to someone, but when you choose to tell someone is up to you. Additionally, it is important to be able to show your anger in a healthy way that will not make you feel worse later. For example, you can simply say that you are feeling angry without blaming someone for making you angry. This should ideally lead to a calm discussion about what can be done to help you feel better. Opening up to people will help improve your relationships, which will ultimately better your mental health.

Avoid Feelings of Depression

Depression has a way of making those with arthritis feel miserable and increase their pain. It is possible you are feeling angry or sorry for yourself because of your daily struggles with arthritis. These feelings are very common for those with this chronic disease. You can help overcome your feelings of depression by getting out and finding ways to be happy with your loved ones, rather than letting yourself wallow in your sadness. You may also want to find creative outlets as a way to relieve the tension. Take care of yourself by seeing a therapist who can help you deal with your depressive symptoms. If you are experiencing the symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, it is a sign that you need to see a doctor.

Time Management

Having constant pain and limited energy can mean you are not giving it your all. You tend to work harder when you have the most energy. Instead of wearing yourself out by doing too much at once, plan your days out in advance. Be honest with yourself about how much you can realistically do each day and spread out your responsibilities during the week. Save the stressful tasks for earlier in the day to get them over with and schedule rest breaks in between to give yourself moments to breathe.

Stay Healthy 

It is important to remember that drugs and alcohol are not the answers or an escape to your problems. These substances will only make your health problems worse. In the long run, drugs and alcohol will only increase your stress instead of easing it. It is best to speak to a mental health counselor or hospital about the programs they offer for stress management. Even though arthritis could be at the top of your list to manage, it is important to take care of the rest of your body by exercising, sleeping well, eating three meals a day, and staying active. By being in control of your stress levels, you are in control of your arthritis. 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us today at 833-801-LIVE. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Sleep Deprivation and Psychosis

Healing from Painful Past

There is a misconception that when an addict quits using, they will go on to live life without issue. Although this may be true to some extent, ridding the body of all substances is only the beginning to living a full sober life. There are many excuses and possibly some valid reasons why alcoholics feel they needed to use their drug of choice. When it comes down to it, there is an underlying cause of why the alcoholic feels they must numb the body. The addict mind is different from the non-addict mind. Addicts don’t have the ability to let things go, persisting to replay events over and over in the mind. It’s exhausting, and one might think why they would put themselves through it if they can shut it up with alcohol or drugs? This is where it gets tricky. Alcoholics will become reliant on the substance and use it to get through life at all cost. This doesn’t end well, given that addicts have a craving for alcohol and drugs that will not allow them to practice any kind of moderation.

Once there is a substance entered into the body in any form, the craving consumes the mind. At this point, there’s no use in maintaining any healthy way of dealing or coping with an unideal situation. Relationships begin to slip away and the alcoholic starts down an unhealthy path to destruction. Thing gets progressively worse and there no way of telling when the alcoholic/addict will decide to get help. When the addict has the willingness to do whatever it takes to stay sober, there will be real potential for growth. We can help get them there.

In AA, it is believed that in order to stay on the path to sobriety, a spiritual experience must take place. Admitting the powerlessness over alcohol is the first step. These steps will coincide with the healing process that an alcoholic will receive in therapy specializing knowledge in addiction. There are different ways of approaching an alcoholic who is in the healing process as well as different therapeutic treatments. Each alcoholic responds differently which is why it’s important to have a well-rounded rehabilitation experience. Feeling safe in an environment caves the way for transformation. Learning about self-love and respect that will enable the patient's ability to manifest what they are really capable of life. Healing consists of processing the history that never sat well with the alcoholic. Taking a look at the root of the problem and letting it go, will set the alcoholic free!

Enlightened Solutions believes that healing the mind body and spirit is the first step into a life of healthy relationships and sobriety. With a holistic, clinical, and 12 step approach, the addict will learn many tools in guiding a patient to transformation. For more information call 833-801-5483.