If short days have you feeling blue, getting more sunshine and exercise can help, says Mark Rapaport, MD, chairman of the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. These strategies also might help.
- Look ahead. Plan and focus on something positive in your future, Dr. Rapaport suggests, like a vacation or a night out with friends.
- Get crafty. Knitting yourself a scarf could do more than protect you from the cold. A study of 3,545 knitters worldwide found a link between knitting and happiness. The greatest impact was among those who knitted in a group.
- Say “om.” Easy on painful joints, yoga is also tough on the blues, according to a review article in Frontiers in Psychiatry. Yoga appears to influence brain chemicals and inflammation in the body similarly to antidepressants and psychotherapy.
- Get enough zzz’s. It’s hard to feel good when you are sleep-deprived. Research shows that increasing sleep time by treating insomnia may improve mood. If your blues don’t go away and you feel helpless, hopeless, guilty or despairing, see a professional.
An arthritis flare, unexpected changes at home or work, even the start of a new year can create stress and anxiety. These emotions lead to depression in some people –including many who have arthritis. A 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one-third of people with arthritis also have depression or anxiety.
Continue reading Unmasking Depression
If you are among the nearly one-third of people with arthritis who live with anxiety and depression, you know that your emotional well-being can have a profound impact on your physical health. When you are depressed you may not eat healthfully, exercise or take your medication regularly. New research shows that being sad for a prolonged period of time can also have a negative effect on bone health in both men and women.
Happy Life Leads to Healthy Bones in Women
A 2014 study published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that bone density was 52% higher in postmenopausal women who reported feeling satisfied with their lives when compared with those who said they were unsatisfied. Participants were asked to measure their overall well-being in four areas: interest in life, happiness in life, ease of living and feelings of loneliness.
Continue reading How Your Mood Can Affect Bone Health
Earlier diagnosis and advances in treatment mean that people with arthritis are likely to have a better quality of life than they did a generation ago. Yet research shows that having arthritis still impacts one’s health-related quality of life in negative ways. In a study published in 2011 in Arthritis Care & Research, researchers found that measures of physical and mental health were consistently two to three times worse in people with arthritis than in those without arthritis.
For the study, researchers reviewed data collected from more than a million adults. The data stem from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an ongoing nationwide telephone health survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Study participants did not specify what type of arthritis they had; they were asked whether a doctor or other health professional had ever told them they had some form of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, gout and lupus.
Continue reading Arthritis Affects Both Physical and Mental Health