Managing Stress with Urticaria

Health Writer
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Chronic urticaria, or hives, can appear or worsen during times of stress. One study found that the itchiness of hives increases during times of stress. The study also found that many people with chronic hives have limited stress management skills.

Stress can be helpful

Stress, in small doses, can be helpful. It can keep you alert or help you focus. But when stress is acute or ongoing, it can signal a problem.

Warning signs of stress

There are several warning signs of stress according to the American Psychological Association, such as headaches, stomachaches, unexplained pains, fatigue, increased susceptibility to colds and viruses, irritability, lack of focus, forgetfulness, and poor decision making.

Be aware of how your body responds to stress

If you have chronic urticaria, it is good to pay attention to how your body signals you are under stress and address the issues before you break out in hives. There are some changes you can make to your daily life to help reduce stress.

Change 1: exercise

Even 10 minutes of exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety. Exercising every morning can make you feel better all throughout the day.

Change 2: relaxation

Practicing yoga, meditation, and mindfulness on a daily basis can help you better cope with stressful situations.

Change 3: reach out to a friend

Talking about the stressful situation or other challenges you are facing releases stress-reducing hormones in your body. Call a friend to talk about what you are going through.

Change 4: get enough sleep

When you don’t sleep well, it is more difficult to deal with difficult situations and make the right decisions. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and if you aren’t, talk with your doctor about how you can.

Change 5: engage in a hobby

If you have a hobby that helps you relax, make sure you incorporate time for it on a daily or weekly basis. Gardening, reading a book, knitting, painting, or writing can all help to reduce stress.

Change 6: interact with a pet

While not everyone wants to have a pet around, research shows that having a relationship with an animal — dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, horses, and even fish — helps to reduce stress levels.

Change 7: keep track of elevated stress

Pay attention to when and why you feel stressed, and then take steps to reduce or eliminate stressors. If a particular stressor can’t be reduced, consider changing how you look at it and focus on the positive.