How to Remain Positive Even if You’re Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
No one in this world will tell you that having rheumatoid arthritis is going to be easy. From the day you get your diagnosis and each day going forward, expect to face real challenges.
It is very overwhelming to imagine what your life will be like and how you will be able to continue your responsibilities and routines all while coping with pain, side effects of medications, fatigue, and sadness. But while it is nearly impossible to see anything positive with your diagnosis, wallowing in negativity will do you more harm than good.
Provided that you are following the care plan your rheumatoid arthritis care specialist in Las Vegas created, here are some practical tips to help you stay positive.
Acceptance is vital
Accept that rheumatoid arthritis will now be a permanent part of your life that will require specific adjustments and accommodations. Denying your condition and necessary accommodations will only make it more difficult for you to meet the challenges that come with the illness.
Learn how to focus your thoughts
During times that you find yourself starting to slide into a bad mood, change the way you speak to yourself. Try to replace nervousness with courage, sadness with happiness, and bleakness with hope. Plan ahead for bad days but make sure your plans are infused with positivity.
It is perfectly fine to have bad days
What is important is that you limit how long you will feel bad and how often. Try to recognize when it is happening, so you can try to control it by changing your environment. Distract yourself. Do something, anything that will keep your mind off what is bothering you.
Do away with the victim mentality
Instead, take all the energy you spend on thinking why you have RA and use it for managing your condition more efficiently. Embrace your “new normal” instead of hiding from it and living in the past. This is an immensely crucial part of accepting your condition, in a more physical sense.
Specifically, embrace the use of assistive devices, whether it is a cane, a splint or something else that will make you look disabled, but ultimately make your life so much better and easier to manage.
Control your fears and worries about the future
Consider mindfulness meditation to help you learn how to focus and be in the present. Put simply, turn your attention towards your new normal instead of wasting your time and energy on worrying about what’s yet to come. You can also try cognitive behavioral therapy if mindfulness meditation does not work for you.
Do not compare your life now to yourself post-rheumatoid arthritis or to other people. Doing this will just make it harder for you to accept yourself now and the things you need to do to accept your reality and manage your RA more easily.
Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis who do not wallow in the past are more likely to care for themselves better, advocate for their needs, and follow their treatment plan. Being positive in this case is necessary and not optional.