Psoriasis: 8 Simple Things You Can Do Be More Comfortable
When you live with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, it can affect every decision you make. But if you make simple changes to your daily routine, they don’t have to. From breathing exercises to relaxation techniques, here are eight simple things you can do today to be more comfortable while living with psoriasis.
You’ve heard it before and I’m going to tell you again mindful meditation is good for the body, mind, and soul. This can be five minutes or less a day, but a review study at John Hopkins looked at the relationship between mindfulness meditation and its ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and pain. There are helpful meditation apps like Brightmind and Headspace that you can listen to in the car on your commute to work or in the morning when you’re getting ready to start your day.
Just take a five to 10 minute break from your day and breathe. Sit up straight, close your eyes, and inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. If it’s helpful, put your hand on your belly so you can feel your abdomen as you’re breathing. Breathing can counter the effects of stress by lowering blood pressure and slowing the heart rate. Stress can be a trigger for those of us living with psoriasis, so learning breathing exercises as a way to cope with stress will set you up for success in the long term maintenance of living with psoriasis.
Combined with the above relaxation technique of breathing, body scanning can boost the awareness of your mind and body connection while relieving stress. After a few minutes of deep breathing and muscle relaxation, focus on one part of your body (perhaps a recent flare up) then mentally releasing any physical tension you might feel in that area.
Turn up the Volume
Neuroscientists in the UK have proven that listening to music can reduce anxiety by up to 64 percent. I don’t know about you, but as a full-time working, stay at home mom, anxiety seems to peek around every corner, literally. And for me, anxiety turns into stress then stress is a trigger for my psoriasis flares. So if I can reduce my anxiety by listening to music, I’ll be listening to jams all day long.
Laugh Out Loud
When was the last time you laughed out loud? I don’t know about you, but when I do, I just feel better. According to a Mayo Clinic study, laughter can boost the immune system. “The ability to use humor may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boost the levels of immune cells, as well.” Read more about the connection between psoriasis and the immune system.
Has the thought of baking cookies or laying on a white sand beach just brought a smile to your face? Then the relaxation technique of guided imagery is for you. Conjuring up images of positive or soothing places can help put your mind at ease and relieve any stress or anxiety you might experience. According to evidence-based research, guided imagery can also heighten short- term immune cell activity, and it can speed up healing from fractures and burns.
Time to get in on the trend of adult coloring books. I’m serious, it’s a thing! But here’s why it’s so good for your mental health: “from relieving stress and promoting concentration, coloring helps you relax and tune out negative thoughts,” according clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, Psy. D., it has everything to do with refocusing our attention. When your psoriasis flares are getting the best of you, start coloring. You can even make it a fun activity between you and your little ones or a fun break from work with your co workers.
If meditation isn’t your thing and you have six minutes to spare, then it’s time to pick up a book or magazine. People who engaging the brain with activities like reading or puzzle solving could be 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to those who spend their time on less challenging activities. Here’s a list of the best summer books to get you started.
Walk. We all do it every day. But did you know that walking in an outdoor environment can have a positive effect on your mental and wellbeing. Walking also produces endorphins which elevates your mood, another bonus! Find it hard to get out and walk or sitting at a desk? The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends doing ankle rolls, heel/toe raises and knee lifts every hour or so to help circulate your blood.