The Value of a Positive Perspective with Psoriatic Arthritis
Managing life with psoriatic arthritis is different from what I had ever planned or envisioned. But, and that's a big but, different doesn't always have to mean bad. Sometimes, I've learned, it's just a matter of perspective.
Now, before you click away from this article and loudly assert that I've totally lost my gosh-darn mind, just stay with me for a second. I've learned a thing or two over the years since my diagnosis. One of the most important lessons I've learned is the value of a positive perspective when you live with psoriatic arthritis.
Allow me to share.
The benefit of a positive outlook
I'm not arguing that psoriatic arthritis is a blessing in your life. However, in my experience, our overall mental and emotional health needs to remember that good things can come from the bad. Before you throttle me, think about this.
Have you ever found yourself in a good set of circumstances that you would never have imagined yourself in, resulting from something negative? No matter how you look at it, there are just some negative parts of life that just won't change.
So to move forward, your perspective needs to change.
Where can positivity come from?
Take this community, for example. Here, I've been able to give and receive fantastic support and understanding. Through our community, I have met extraordinary and inspiring people determined to make our little psoriatic arthritis community and the world better.
This community helps me every single day to feel like I haven't completely lost my mind - as perhaps some doctors may have suggested. These are all good things that I would never have seen if I only chose to focus on the negative parts of life with this debilitating condition.
Having a positive perspective allows me to see this clearly for the blessing that it is. So, what happens when you take a deep breath, remember your strength, and shift your perspective?
If we allow the negative to take over...
Choosing a different path, a new way, allows us to find new reasons and purposes to keep moving forward. Without this, succumbing to mental health struggles like anxiety and depression becomes very easy.
Once you get stuck only seeing the negative, It becomes too easy to get swallowed up in that deep, black hole of depression. If you remain stagnant, then like quicksand, you get pulled down into the darkness.
Acknowledge our struggles
No one willingly puts psoriatic arthritis in their plans. But sometimes, whether it is PsA, relationship struggles, work challenges - whatever it is - things just happen in life that we don't plan for or expect.
We can acknowledge our difficulties, but eventually, if we are going to survive, we have to pull up our big-girl panties, focus on something good, and just keep moving forward.
Sometimes, happiness is a matter of choice
The real truth of the matter is sometimes I have to literally force myself to find the positive and be happy. Some days are easier than others. You just have to learn when to allow yourself time to acknowledge your pain and when to force yourself to move on.
I'm not speaking of "singing in the streets," the level of happiness in your life. Rather, happiness is a conscious choice simply because it is a better choice for our mental health, in my experience, to focus on the good and make a conscious choice to be happy.
It's not always easy
After working very hard to get where I was in life when I was diagnosed, I was extremely disheartened. And to be honest, I felt like the failure of my body was the same as the failure of a person. But guess what? It's not.
It was easy to get trapped there and hard to get out. It isn't the path I would have chosen for myself. It still seems like nearly daily, I'm plagued by things my body either makes extremely difficult to do or outright impossible. And to be honest, sometimes it is a daily struggle to go on.
A simple thing like having a positive perspective makes it possible.
A positive perspective allows me to honor my journey
A shift in perspective has shown me, in so many ways I never thought of before, that I'm stronger than I could have ever imagined. I mentally and physically fight pain and fatigue in ways and levels I never thought I could.
We must be reminded, amongst the daily challenges of life with psoriatic arthritis, that there is value in finding positive parts of life. Perhaps it is a hobby, a warm cup of coffee, or a light-hearted chat with a dear friend that gives us something positive to focus on and boosts mental health to continue moving forward for another day.
Have you noticed that changing your perspective for the positive can help your overall mental and emotional health with psoriatic arthritis?
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