How Can I Cope with the Stress and Challenges of Living with Osteoarthritis?

Posted on 02/15/2017



Stress is often a result of not understanding something. In the case of Osteoarthritis, stress comes into our lives in several ways. There is the stress of facing a disease that has a significant impact on our quality of life and ability to function daily, in addition to the the potential to live in pain. There is also financial stress, social stress, medical stress, and that list continues to grow. Enough is certainly enough. In this "just relax" blog, we look at a few ways to cope with stress when you live with osteoarthritis.




Let it Go — Learn to recognize things that are not in your power to control. You cannot control the weather, the time, or for the most part, other people. But, you can control your diet, your schedule, and our outlook on life. In fact, there are a lot of positive ways to manage your life with osteoarthritis. The takeaway here is to focus on the things you can control while letting go of the things over which you have no control. 

A good way to do that is to:

  • Breathe deeply as you count to ten. Then let out your breath as you count to ten. Do that a few times until you feel yourself relax. 
  • Change the voice in your head to one that is positive. Instead of listening to it tell you things are bad, count the ways that things are good. A better attitude helps lift your spirits and can give you more tolerance. 
  • Go for a walk or get some fresh air. Exercise is an awesome way to release stress. Start by setting a small goal and then achieve that goal. For example, today, I am going to walk around the block twice. Then go for it. It is easier to count your successes than it is to look at defeat. 
  • Empower your body. This is all about eating a healthy diet so that your body has all of the tools it needs to function at peak efficiency. 
  • Take a nap. Sleep is an amazing mechanism for relaxing our mind and our body. Make sure to get enough sleep so that you are rested.

Educate Yourself about Osteoarthritis

If you worry about living with osteoarthritis, then face those fears.  Learn about the disease, its secrets, and its pitfalls. Knowledge is a powerful medicine. It allows you to make informed decisions about how to live your life, improve the quality of your life, and to reduce the amount of stress in your life.


Talk to your doctor too about new treatments, advanced therapies, and how those might fit into your treatment plan. Adopt a whole-patient approach to managing your osteoarthritis so that you empower your body to heal.