Living with chronic joint pain is hard.
It's not surprising that people with arthritis are more prone to depression and anxiety.
So it's important to find ways to improve our mental health.
Practising gratitude is a good method to support better mental and physical health.
Why practice gratitude?
Gratitude encourages us to understand our circumstances in a way that can increase our feelings of joy.
It's a simple practice that involves focusing on about the things that you appreciate in your life.
Practicing gratitude on a daily basis has been linked to reduced stress and pain, and increased happiness.
It's quick, easy and even better it's free.
How to practice gratitude
1. Share genuine compliments daily
Tell your spouse, friends and family how much you appreciate them, and mean it!
When your significant other returns from work or your best friend calls, show your genuine appreciation and happiness. Value those in your life in small ways.
2. Practice gratitude every morning.
Like anything else, the more you practice the easier it gets.
Take ten minutes before you start your day to think about three things that you are grateful for.
This could be something as simple as having a safe home and place to sleep, through to your friends, pets or hobbies.
If you are religious, you can include this thankfulness in your prayers.
3. Learn from negative experiences
When you make a mistake, acknowledge it, take responsibility and then try to learn from it.
Beating yourself up about mistakes or negative experiences isn't constructive.
By looking for lessons, you can turn a negative into a positive.
You will also reduce your chances of making similar mistakes in the future.
4. Reframe negative things
When you notice something or someone with a negative quality, try to reframe your mind to notice the positive.
It's okay to acknowledge the negative and notice the feelings that it brings up, but don't allow that to become overwhelming.
For example, if you're traveling and you're squashed in the middle seat of a crowded flight, acknowledge that it is frustrating, but don't let it ruin your journey.
Instead, try and focus on the trip you are taking and how great it will be when you arrive, even though it’s a really difficult thing to do.
5. Avoid toxic conversations
We all need to let off steam now and then, but try to keep a sensible limit on it.
Set a 'no gossiping, whining or criticizing' goal.
Maybe you won't achieve it every day (you’d have to be a saint!), but give it a try and see how you feel after a week.
You may notice a subtle positive shift in your interactions with others.
Get support with joint pain
You are not alone!
If you are struggling with joint pain, we recommend that you join an online support group to connect with other people who understand.
It's helpful to vent to other people who have experienced similar challenges, which makes it much easier to maintain positive relationships with close family and friends.