Reducing Stress with Rheumatoid Arthritis | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Reducing Stress with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Reducing stress with RA is important

Reduce Stress with Rheumatoid ArthritisLiving with rheumatoid disease is tough. Almost always, it “progresses,” which means gets worse. Meanwhile it tends to make almost everything harder to do—even things we love to do! Like the old saying goes, it’s “not for the faint of heart.”

Warriors like us don’t just live with this disease—we fight it. This fighting to get as much out of life as possible and the symptoms of the disease itself make stress and rheumatoid arthritis a common need to address. Recently, Healthgrades asked me to write about 10 ways to reduce stress with rheumatoid arthritis. I know these steps will be helpful to you or someone you love who lives with a chronic illness.

10 Ways to Reduce Stress with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Reducing Stress with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Living with a painful chronic disease can lead to increased stress. In particular, stress and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) go hand in hand because RA is a progressive disease that can affect—and damage—almost any part of the body. RA can make performing daily tasks more difficult and create valid reasons to worry about your health.

It’s easy to see how living with RA increases stress: RA often means a lifetime of facing unexpected challenges, increased medical costs, and people who don’t understand—while at the same time managing difficult painful symptoms. Reducing stress with RA seems like a daunting task. And yet it’s especially necessary because stress increases pain and drains mental strength.

Key tips for reducing stress with RA

There’s no magic solution, but these straightforward steps can help reduce stress with RA.

1. Get real. Realistic expectations are your friend. Failing to meet expectations is stressful, especially when they’re your own. It’s hard to change what you expect of yourself, but adjusting expectations is not letting the disease win! It took me years to revise what I expected myself to do each day when I wake up in the morning, but I’m happier now.
Click here to read the entire article on Healthgrades.

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Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/

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