Finding ways to relax is the best way to interrupt the frustrating cycle of psoriasis stress. Read on to learn tips for a calmer mind, body, and environment.
If you’re living with psoriasis (PsO), you’ve probably found that your PsO can cause you stress and that stress can trigger PsO flares. Practicing self-care and stress-management techniques may help you better cope with stress, which in turn might help you better manage your PsO flares.
Living with any chronic condition can be stressful, especially when that condition is visible on your skin like PsO.
Although PsO is a genetic condition, PsO and stress are intricately linked. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, environmental factors, such as traumatic life events, can make PsO symptoms worse.
Additionally, the authors of a 2018 review noted a higher incidence of PsO in people who experienced a stressful event within the previous year. They also found that 31–88% of people living with PSO reported stress as a trigger for their symptoms.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, stress is one of the most common PsO triggers. On the flip side, a PsO flare can cause stress. This might feel like an endless loop. But there are some strategies you can use to interrupt this cycle and help prevent stress from affecting your PsO.
Making your home stress-free is essential for managing your overall stress and its effects on PsO. You can start creating a calming, comfortable environment for yourself by doing the following:
Gratitude journaling is a simple, affordable, and accessible way to de-stress. Keeping a gratitude journal can remind you of the things that are going the right way in your life, which are sometimes hard to see in stressful moments.
You can do this with a traditional pen and paper or electronically with an app or website. Start with writing whatever comes to your mind. Don’t set a time limit or a word limit.
Try focusing on people in your life or aspects of health rather than material things. Once you write something you’re grateful for, consider writing about the feelings you associate with it.
When the tasks of life get overwhelming, it can be difficult to get anything done. You can start by making a list of everything that needs to get done.
From there, you can organize it by the most important tasks overall, the length of time to complete each one, the financial costs (if any), and/or the physical energy required.
To-do lists can help you empty your headspace to make more room for things that you need to focus on. Making to-do lists also helps the tasks appear more reasonable and more achievable.
Breathing exercises are portable, easy, and free! Belly breathing is my favorite to help handle stress in a tough situation. Here are some easy steps to follow to perform effective belly breathing:
Take your time and don’t rush! Be sure to make note of how you feel at the end too. For a visual tutorial, check out this video.
You might want to seek professional help when stress gets too overwhelming. You can meet with a therapist, counselor, or life coach who can help you work through your challenges. A trained and skilled outsider can be very helpful for managing stress.
Finding ways to cope with stress may help improve your skin symptoms and help you better manage your PsO.
If you’re living with PsO, you’ve probably noticed that stress can have an impact on your skin and your overall health. Practicing self-care to improve your mental health and decrease stress can help reduce the chances that stress will trigger your psoriasis.
Consider trying these relaxation techniques to get a better handle on your stress and help minimize avoidable flares.
Medically reviewed on October 30, 2023
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