Is There a Relationship Between Psoriasis and Stress?
When dealing with psoriasis, stress equates to more frequent, or more intense, flares. This, of course, works in the other direction as well, since an increase in flares leads to more stress for many.
So in theory, there is only one thing to do to limit your number of flares: reduce stress. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was just that simple? If you could wave a wand, snap your fingers, or take a pill causing the stress to melt right out of your body?
Unfortunately, that is not the case as stress reduction is a serious task — one that requires effort and diligence. Though the road will be tough, the outcome will make the process a fruitful one.
Don’t Pass on Relaxation
Many tips that aim towards reducing stress focus on relaxation, and this is appropriate course of action. Relaxation is a much-needed skill that can reduce your current level of stress while increasing your resilience for stress that is likely to present in the future. For anyone battling high levels of stress or expecting stress in the future, relaxation techniques are a must.
People frequently use deep breathing, guided imagery, muscle relaxation, and other techniques to lessen their stress, and you can to. The skills take practice but are always worthwhile.
The Weight of Opinions
If you have psoriasis, you face other challenges too. Due to the nature of the condition and the outward presentation of symptoms, you must face the opinions and reactions of others.
In addition, you have to manage your own opinions and views. Undesirable opinions, reactions and views lead to undesirable results — like increased stress and anxiety.
To limit stress, you must target the opinions of others and yourself. In this situation, dealing with your own opinions will be the easier task since you have more control over yourself than you do over others. Additionally, the skills learn here will prepare you for the opinions of others.
To begin, work to identify your thoughts regarding psoriasis. What do you think about it? How does it make you feel? How do your behaviors change when symptoms are high compared to when they are low?
The likely response to these queries is that psoriasis is a problem. It makes your thoughts, feelings and behaviors more negative and less desirable. It harms your self-esteem. When this is the result, your task is to bring your opinions to a more helpful stance.
You do not have to convince yourself that psoriasis is a great addition to your life — that would be too far from your current state to believe — but if you can start finding positives associated with the condition, you can retrain and influence your opinions. Even if finding positives seems too challenging, try moving to less negative thoughts.
Modifying your own opinions is needed because you will always be faced with the opinions of others. Some of these opinions will be stated clearly and directly. Some of these opinions will be spoken vaguely or kept silent altogether.
This lack of information creates a void, and if your own opinions of your psoriasis are still overly negative, you will fill the void with your negativity, which will persuade you into thinking that others are passing judgment on you.
Next page: working to remove stress from your life.