The world is filled with billions of people, and of those billions, it is difficult to imagine anyone actually wanting to be sick. In fact, we as a species are among the few (if only) that actually go out of our way, take precautions to avoid illness, and when we do, often we will treat it. While that is all fine and good and provides comfort to many in their quest to avoid sickness, what, if in fact, you already contain those elements that could make you sick? Welcome to shingles.
Shingles is a viral illness caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus lives in your body long after you have had chickenpox and reactivates more readily when your immune system is suppressed. And in case you didn’t know, stress has a large impact our immune systems; and worse, if you actively suffer from shingles, it can cause the flare ups to be much more impactful on our bodies. That is why stress management is such an integral part in the treatment and management of shingles.
While stress management cannot “cure” your shingles, it does have the ability to make them more manageable, especially when used in conjunction with other treatment. Here are some effective methods to help you deal with life’s stress so that hopefully, shingles won’t be among them.
Talk out your feelings: While this practice might not be par for the course for many people, it is important to express emotion, especially if they are negative. Talk to your family and friends when things are weighing on your mind.
Identify triggers: Much like no two people are the same, so can be said of what stresses people out. By understanding your own triggers, you will be better equipped to avoid those situations or lessen their impact.
Practice healthy living: Getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet and regular exercise can do wonders for not only your physical health but also in the way your body reacts to stress.
Calm down: Mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and even prayer can all have significantly calming effects on individuals, especially those deals with lupus. Take a few moments each day to reflect and accept. Not only will you likely sleep better and find yourself calmer; it will also help mitigate severe shingle flare ups.
The glass is half full: It is very easy for people to take a negative outlook on life, experiences, and events. However, by reminding ourselves of all the good in our lives, it will help to not only improve the way we handle lives obstacles but will also allow us to trudge through the tough times knowing they will get better.
Practicing good stress management is a healthy practice for everyone to participate in, but it can be especially helpful to those suffering from lupus. If you or someone you know is suffering from lupus and is looking for techniques to help mitigate that stressors in life, speak to your healthcare professional for advice or referrals.