FAREWELL….POSITIVE REFLECTIONS 2020 @ RA POSITIVE HUB.COM…..💥

 

This year 2020 will be etched in memory …a year we all will remember for years to come..

For me personally, I had a lot of hardships and a personal loss. My mum passed away, it was a grief way too deep….it was just her life’s lessons and memories that took me through the months.

All the uncertainty and negativity of Covid 19 got me additional strength and resilience. Tough challenges made me stronger, paving the way to a positive mindset which defined my physical and emotional well-being.

Gratitude to the Almighty for every breath I drew into my lungs. I have learned anew to never again take the beautiful things in life for granted and to treasure all our moments and each other.

Looking forward to a more buoyant soul, a robust spirit, a healthy body, and a calm mind..in 2021!!!

SLEEP – SELF CARE SERIES @ rapositivehub.com

A well-known fact we all Arthritic Warriors experience is our painful conditions which affect our sleep patterns. It also could be called Secondary Insomnia which arises as to the symptom of a warriors pre-existing condition.

  • Problem in getting to sleep
  • Waking up often during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Lethargic feeling on waking up

It’s a continuous list of issues one could face however I feel that if simple basic steps are taken it aids in increasing the quality of sleep and that means indulging in simple basic Self-Care techniques.

  • Take my meds
  • Have my dinner early
  • Try n keep the room dark, quiet and at a comfortable temperature
  • Check that my pillows are comfortably placed and try and use soft molded pillows whenever I have neck pain etc.
  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  • Avoid taking any tea /coffee before sleeping

It is a common perception that pain is felt more at nights… which is true because there are no regular day time distractions hence more concentration on all areas which are immobile and tender plus the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol are naturally lower at night adding to staying still in one position might cause joints to stiffen up.

Lack of sleep reduces the pain threshold and pain tolerance of an individual.

Our mood symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and anxiety often cooccur with sleep disturbance and pain and that changes in our mood symptoms which might contribute to self-reported pain after our continued sleep disturbances.

To summarize it’s a continuous cycle in which sleep disturbance activates clinical symptoms of pain, which then contributes to further sleep loss. Hence, I feel that there has to be the potential to redirect the clinical and alternate therapies for management of pain in RA patients which can focus on sleep and the prevention and treatment of sleep disturbances!

The recognition that patients, even with similar diagnoses, are ‘not all the same’ speaks to the potential of tailoring support from healthcare providers and self-care management modalities to encourage healthy sleep, rest, and activity that align with a warrior’s habits and needs.

As a RA warrior living with rheumatoid arthritis the above comments mentioned by me, I guess should resonate strongly with other RA Warriors!!

Go all out and take care of yourself well…Nobody can take away our pain, but let us not allow arthritic pain to take away our happiness and peace of mind… let us work continuously on ourselves….rapositivehub.com

 

 

Embracing Small Life’s Celebrations Keeps our Hope and Joy Alive!

Past few years, celebrations would probably be considered fiascos if they were to be judged by traditional standards. Yet, I’ll never regret trying my best to recreate the special traditions my mom and dad made throughout our childhood. Celebrations, no matter how small they are, give life some feel. If anyone needs something to make one day stand out from all the others, it’s those who are already managing with the challenges and tediousness that often come with unseen illness.

We cherish special life milestones like birthdays and anniversaries for a reason. They epitomize continuity and growth, the unbroken threads that shape a person’s life. They are a sign of triumph over adversity, of strength, and of hope, particularly in the later years when they represent years of life’s experience. The importance of celebrating life is mirrored in physical and mental health, community and family relationships and a healthy inner self-concept.

Life is full of celebratory moments; it is imperative to understand things that give you happiness and make you feel worthy. Even the smallest of celebrations we allow ourselves can help build positive emotions. When we take time to embrace the little moments, we’re less likely to go down the rabbit hole with stress and less likely to get physically sick.

Such emotions give us resilience and fortify us with happy memories.

Over the past years as I look back on my life as a RA Warrior; I like the person I see in the mirror. I have developed a strong mental strength that has allowed me to motivate myself and be a motivator to others. I have been at the lowest point in my life some years ago, but I have managed to come out on top. And all this has come with the Inner Healthy Self-concept mindset and the grace of the Almighty!

A healthy person or a person with a chronic condition appreciates the whole curve of life as a continuous journey, interspersed by moments of pain and of joy but always changing. Special occasions are the milestones along this journey, chances to stop and reflect on life as a whole, and on the person, who has lived it. Giving people the chance to celebrate these milestones is an essential way to nurture their inner health.  Celebration isn’t just a party, it’s a way to show someone that they matter, that their journey has meaning. Hence care givers should work around organizing such occasions. Caregivers can’t take away the illnesses or the pain, however, for one can attempt to bring a little light into the lives. It often takes some trial and error and some imagination, but one can figure out what works. The joy and comfort of these events is an important source of strength for people, even when they may lack the energy to do all the planning themselves.

I am grateful for every birthday and the opportunity I have been given to share the good and the bad with others. I will never give up hope that one day we will find a cure for this condition called RA!

Yes, it is true that we have real-world challenges with the current Covid situation, but we should give extra attention to the good things in life, too. In all these cases, the answer is to stay focused on the importance of celebrating life. We should celebrate the little successes and that helps keep us linked in tough times.

These moments of celebration make us pause and be mindful, and that lifts our well-being.

The advantages of celebration are universal, and can be as powerful in a small, quiet gathering as in a big party.

According to social psychology researcher Fred Bryant and others, when we stop to savor the good stuff, we buffer ourselves against the bad and build resilience—and even mini-celebrations can plump up the positive emotions which make it easier to manage the daily challenges that cause major stress

So ….Let us keep celebrating our lives at the drop of a hat all we Arthritic Warriors !!!

 

 

Hard Talk on RA

Why it is difficult to talk about RA

Two certainties make having RA difficult to discuss. A well-known fact is that since most of its symptoms aren’t visible, one becomes reluctant to discuss it as they’re a high chances others might not believe that you’re really sick.

The other problem is that it can be a letdown to discuss.

So just a few pointers which I follow:

Who do we tell :

There could be some amongst us who have a special inner circle and choose only to tell them as the trust and goodwill is apparent. I have noticed a few just want to share with any and everyone around as fear factor has set in maybe, whichever the route one chooses, one is the best judge of their own situation! So go ahead and plan your talk…inward and outward!

Deciding how much to tell…a situation at the office or home

The thing about discussing RA is that there’s quite a lot to discuss. The list of symptoms is unique to each person, but it can be very long. How much will you tell about your condition? You could be as brief as a quick declaration and definition: “I have rheumatoid arthritis. It’s an autoimmune condition that mostly attacks my joints.”

Beyond that, you could consider talking about how symptoms affect you. For example, “RA means I have a lot of pain and need extra rest.” Or, rather than talking about how RA affects you in general, you might choose to explain how you’re doing on a daily basis and how that might affect your abilities: “My RA is affecting my wrists today. Can you help me pick up these files?”

Of course, you can never know when meeting someone how they’ll react to your sharing, but you’ll probably pick up overtime on clues that someone feels overwhelmed with your news. Rather than talking to them, it might be appropriate to share written information on RA by directing them to a website or other resource. By doing so you automatically become an Awareness Warrior and the bonus is …you feel good by doing your bit…that is what I do!

Nobody can take away your pain, but don’t let pain take away your happiness.— Stephanie Walters 

WE ARTHRITIC WARRIORS NEED TO CONTROL THE EXCESSIVE ‘WHAT IF “ THOUGHTS…

Being Arthritic Warriors I am sure most of us indulge in Hypothetical Worry!

It’s a normal human tendency I guess, but only becomes uncontrolled when we focus excessively on hypothetical worries instead of realistic worries especially pertaining to our medical condition.

The ‘what if’ thoughts are typically about things we don’t have much control over and have noticed that this goes on a rampage if not controlled.

Practical worries concern things you do have control over, and they can help you be more proactive. If you’re very uncomfortable with uncertainty, you’re likely prone to hypothetical worry and spend a lot of time focused on the future instead of the present.

It’s hard to deal with the ‘what ifs’ and ‘should’ but you have to be kind to yourself. It’s taken me years to be able to manage them and of course I don’t always succeed, still struggling sometimes but I’ve got a lot better at letting the thoughts come and go without getting too involved with them.

Living with (RA) pain can feel like the glass is half empty. But negative thinking and expecting worse case scenarios can make your experience of pain worse. You may think, “My fingers are getting swollen. Soon they’ll make it too hard to cook the meals I love or paint the canvas. I should just give up cooking /painting entirely now!”  This type of thinking is called catastrophizing. The individual predicts and obsesses over a negative event or situation. Then, he or she decides that if it does happen, it will lead to the worst possible outcome, keeping no room for positivity.

Sometimes pain can become all-consuming and can prevent you from doing the things you enjoy, so in effect you may start living a pain-centered life.

It’s also important not to blame yourself if you struggle with these emotions as it can be a natural reaction to your situation. What is important is that you recognize when you may be catastrophizing and make efforts to stop this line of thinking for your health and overall wellbeing.

People with arthritis have to learn to successfully manage its impact on their physical, functional, social and psychological status, a process termed self-management.

Will be sharing at length my personal journey on this topic in my next uploads…

Till then…do remember for every minute you worry you loose sixty seconds of happiness in the present moment and also remember today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!

BRAIN & ARTHRITIS CONNECTION….

Its all in your head? Does it sound familiar!

Since today being WORLD BRAIN DAY …just sharing a few thoughts

Do you sometimes feel like your thinking is cloudy or you are in extreme pain? Don’t worry—you’re not going crazy! Many people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or any other arthritis experience these feelings.

Over the years I have seen including these below mentioned pointers in my daily life has helped me tremendously through the years…and have very rarely experienced brain fog…

  • I take time out when needed….
  • Keep up to my exercise schedules
  • Manage my daily tasks as per my energy levels.
  • Try and keep things in the same place so that I avoid wasting my time searching for them ….
  • I use reminders and planners to stay organized
  • I eat healthy and try my best to maintain a healthy gut.
  • Watch out on my food in sensitivities and other inflammatory foods
  • Solve puzzles, play brain games and write
  • Be an active member of a support group
  • Take medications regularly and believe in naturopathy treatments

Our food habits and lifestyle have a major impact on our brain health. Brain health is not different from physical health in any sense. Regular exercise helps in maintaining blood pressure and good circulation which is necessary for proper functioning of the brain. It has been proven that movement and meditation also boost functioning of brain.

It is essential that we take care of our brain. Every day, many of you may be unknowingly harming your brain in some way or the other. There are many activities and habits that we need to avoid to preserve our brain health as Arthritic Warriors.

Sleep Deprivation due to pain and its effect on our brain is more pronounced. Lack of sleep affects the hippocampus, which can lead to memory problems. When we sleep, our brain gets a chance to rest too. It can purify itself of toxins only when we are in deep sleep. This helps the cells to rejuvenate.

Sedentary Lifestyle due to pain leads to loneliness and mood swings. You don’t have to visit the gym to get the benefits of exercise. Just walk every day or attend yoga classes or a inter active support group session…the mind will be alert.

The brain is not just a passive, gullible receiver for whatever messages the peripheral nerves send upstairs. And, if you think about it, it’s kind of strange that we would ever have thought of it that way, because this is, after all, the brain we’re talking about: seat of consciousness, the generator of our reality. The brain critically evaluates every danger message it receives — considering it in context, sizing it up before deciding whether or not to take it seriously. Hence, we Arthritic Warriors should avoid being concerned about things that haven’t happened yet taken up our valuable mental space, avoid thinking of the ifs and buts of our arthritic condition, make the most of your today. Instead, focus on the present moment and live in the moment!

Be happy…stay joyful!

 

 

 

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Today -21st June is International Yoga Day

I have been practicing yoga for the last 15 years and it has helped me to focus on my breathing and building awareness of my mind-body connection.

Over the years I have seen that in addition to the physical benefits, yoga has reduced my stress and anxiety levels through the breathing exercises and meditation. A certain amount of mental clarity and stillness comes across and the mood improvements has surely assisted me in coping my RA.

I remember my early specialized yoga practitioners used to mention something to this extent that Yoga facilitates the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms mediated through a variety of downstream pathways and bring about natural immunological tolerance. I never understood the holistic underlying meaning beneath these statements those days but looking back today it does have its roots in its efficacy!

The gentle yoga exercises do help us to focus on our body’s natural tendency to heal itself and find balance.

I suggest discussing yoga with your doctor before giving it a try and then, once you get started, always listen to your body. If it feels like a stretch, that is a good thing, but if it hurts, the pose may not be right for you.

In my beginner’s class and sometimes till date, I always use props such as blocks, pillows or rolled up towels whenever I need support.

No matter what type of yoga you decide to try, I would say it is better to begin with a qualified practitioner. Save the yoga videos for later date, when you’re more confident with your yoga practice. If possible, find an instructor who has experience working with people with chronic conditions like arthritis.

To summarize I would say that socializing is a component of group yoga practices that has motivated me to seek out yoga classes, and currently this aspect of my yoga classes has been particularly beneficial to me.

The face-to-face socializing yoga class, in addition to reducing pain and enhancing my mobility, has always offered me a mood-boosting camaraderie!

Due to COVID – 19 pandemic, most yoga practitioners around the world have shut down the yoga studios and turned to limited home practices and online yoga classes. Hence, International Yoga Day 2020 mostly will be celebrated through digital media all over the globe due to the pandemic and lock-down imposed.

Happy Yoga Day to you and all my Dancing Yogis out there !

“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness” – Sakyong Mipham