Today we are going to be talking about the letter L in the toolkit. As usual any thoughts and comments are more than welcome, so be sure to leave a message below!
L is for Laugh
Again this one is a tool that is more about mindset and building a mental resilience.
As I said before I won’t just be listing different products from a-z that you need to go out and buy. Different products obviously do help, but we also need to make sure we have emotional and mindset tools too.
The sad fact of chronic diseases such as arthritis, is exactly that, they are chronic. They are there for the long haul, you go to bed after a day of chronic pain with the knowledge it will still be there tomorrow.
Some sufferers don’t even get relief when they are in bed trying to sleep and these people have my sympathies. Thankfully it is very rare that my arthritis interrupts my sleep.
Yes it can be very depressing if you let it and at times it is hard not to let it.
There are things we can do to help us in the mental side of the challenge. One of these is laugh.
I have always enjoyed watching comedians and comedy shows ever since I was very young. I like to laugh and joke whenever I can and have often been told I’m never serious.
Unfortunately being diagnosed with arthritis forces a level of seriousness to develop. It is a serious debilitating disease and I am not for one second saying you can laugh the pain away.
You have to seriously consider what things are making your condition worse, what makes it better and formulate a plan from there.
Focus on things that make you happy
As I said you can’t laugh away pain all together but for a short time, when you are fully enjoying yourself, maybe you can forget.
The fact is when you are suffering from a chronic disease one of the things you desperately want is some relief, hence why people take medication in an effort to gain relief from there pain.
Let’s quickly remember that old saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’.
I imagine we all know about the benefits of laughter, things such as it triggers a release of endorphins that make us feel good (similar to exercising).
One thing that I think is very important is laughing lowers stress in the body.
This for me is vital.
Living with a chronic disease is stressful and as I have alluded to before, stress has a very very negative effect on our health.
Stress can effect our sleep, raise blood pressure, cause headaches, lethargy, aching joints, reduced sex drive, and generally keeps the body in an inflamed state.
That’s quite a list that maybe some people do not realise are the results of stress.
The good news is laughter can cure a lot of these. Do you know there is even such a thing as laughter yoga?
People gather at laughter yoga clubs where they can socialise, chat, exercise and of course laugh! People tend to find it stress-relieving, pain-relieving and can help clear their mind as well as boost self-esteem.
Laughter is your coping mechanism for stress
CHRONIC PAIN = STRESS = INFLAMMATION = CHRONIC PAIN
LAUGHTER = REDUCED STRESS = REDUCED INFLAMMATION = REDUCED PAIN
I am not going to start singing always look on the bright side of life.
All I will say is as I know myself how easy it is to become depressed, stressed and generally slip into a black hole. I believe it’s vitally important to remember to laugh and keep seeking enjoyment in life.
Try to continually make time for the things you enjoy, the things that strengthen your mind and help you in your fight against chronic pain!