I have had some success having investigated the psycological aspect of arthritis. Firstly I tried some meditation aimed specifically at dealing with pain. This is a skill that takes time but I find it helps to use what I've learned to acknowledge the pain whilst trying to relax the muscles at the same time. I used the Vipassana method as suggested in Barbara Allan's book.
The other phenomenon I have tried to focus upon is that of positive thinking. Not being a doom and gloom type naturally I haven't thought in the past that I needed to do this. But of course when you have chronic conditions to cope with it is inevitable that sometimes life is a struggle and we wouldn't be human if it didn't affect us. So when I find myself navel-gazing about my condition I check myself quickly, pull myself up and tell myself it's getting better - even if there are setbacks - I will get better. As a result I am finding my arms which are affected by lymphoedema (which means my lymph fluid doesn't drain properly - a result of cellulitis triggered by taking etanercept, an immune suppressant for arthritis) is much better. It is certainly responding to my mental attitude.
It is so important for us not to categorise ourselves as victims. That kind of attitude can weigh us down pshycologically and make us feel heavy.
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