With the host of frustrating and painful symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), including difficulty performing everyday tasks, from lifting a bag to lifting a baby, it’s no wonder that high stress levels, sleep disturbances, sadness and even depression are associated with the condition.
Unfortunately, high stress levels, and the feelings of anger and frustration that often attend them, can cause you to feel more pain. Why? Psychological tension releases chemicals called catecholamines, which can make you more sensitive to pain.
When you’re feeling stressed and anxious, you often have difficulty sleeping too, which then makes you feel even worse. That’s why it’s so important to do your best to control and reduce such tension.
One of the first steps in trying to reduce stress is to understand exactly what’s causing it. It may be the loss of your old exercise routine, or not being able to sit at your computer and type, or the fact that going to the grocery store has become an ordeal.
Experts recommend the following stress reducers for people with RA:
The Yoga Solution
Yoga is a powerful tool for people with rheumatoid arthritis. On the one hand, it can help with flexibility and strength; on the other, it can help you relax. Both help reduce pain, stress and feelings of sadness.
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