Six ways to be worry free

Tips to help you feel calm and relaxed

Research suggests that stress may be a factor leading to the first ever flare-up or the worsening of existing psoriasis. Many psoriasis patients also experience stress and anxiety from the emotional strain of living with a skin disease.

Research also shows that stress can increase your experience of pain and make your psoriasis symptoms worse. Learning simple techniques to help change your thinking and keep stress levels under control could help lessen the discomfort of your symptoms.

If you feel stress is an important factor in your psoriasis, you might want to talk to your doctor who may be able to help with stress management techniques and activities, or refer you for more specialized support.

Proven stress-beating steps

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to helping patients with stress and anxiety related to psoriasis. Below are some simple techniques that have been found to be helpful for some people with psoriasis.

When you are feeling happy and confident, you may find your psoriasis much easier to manage.

1. Try deep breathing

Try resting one hand on your stomach. Breathe in deeply through your nose, letting your stomach push your hand out. Then breath out slowly through your mouth and feel the hand go back. Try this up to 10 times.

2. Exercise regularly

Physical activity is one of the easiest and best ways to deal with stress. It encourages the release of feel-good hormones called endorphins, and research has shown that people can improve their mental health by exercising for just 20 minutes a week – although the more exercise you do, the more positive you will feel. Find a sport you like; you will be more likely to stick with it

3. Write it down

Writing worries down stops them going round and round in your head, and it may be easier to see solutions to problems once they’re on paper. One study found that writing about your fears for just 10 minutes before a stressful event (such as an important test) may help you feel less anxious and more in control. Take some time to work out what’s bothering you. Making a list of your worries can help clear your mind and allow you to tackle each problem one by one. Starting with the most important one, write down the steps you are going to take to eliminate stress from your life.

4. Spend time in nature

Getting out into the countryside or your local park is a great way to de-stress. Researchers have found that “communing with nature” for just five minutes a day can do wonders for your mental health.

5. Play with a pet

Psychologists have found that pet owners are often less lonely, fearful and preoccupied than non-pet owners, and have higher self-esteem.

6. Focus on the positive

It can be helpful to focus on the things in life that make you happy. There is a lot to be said for maintaining a positive mental attitude. When you are feeling happy and confident, you may find your psoriasis much easier to manage. A positive state of mind could also help you deal with anything that life throws your way.