Socializing can be one of the most difficult activities to engage in when suffering from the chronic pain caused by arthritis. But it could also be one of the most beneficial activities a person with chronic pain could partake in. The benefits of socialization have been well documented; people who socialize experience lower stress, cope with adverse events better, and are generally healthier. On the other hand, a lack of socialization can lead to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
Socializing can also help a person in pain take their mind off the negative feelings, distract themselves in a productive manner and force themselves to escape the negative emotions associated with chronic pain.
Invest in Hobbies
In theory, it takes a very strong stimulus to pull a chronic pain sufferer's focus away from pain and direct it towards something else, so why not make it an activity you enjoy? Getting lost in a hobby can help you focus less on the pain, do something you enjoy, and possibly relax your mind.
Many chronic pain sufferers have found relief and a renewed enjoyment in their lives from art therapy. This could include listening to or playing music or working on an art project.
There has been increasing evidence behind the efficacy of art therapy. The science behind why it could work is that positive stimulation has been found to make a difference in the coping process; what a person is looking at can change how they experience pain. The stimulation of creative activities also promotes rehabilitation and a general sense of well-being.
Music therapy in particular has a long tradition in the treatment of pain and health disorders. Other possible benefits from art therapy are the activity level and creative capacity as a healing source, stimulation of positive emotional experience, facilitating projective coping and stimulation of imaginative experience and awareness.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do when you're suffering from the chronic pain of osteoarthritis is to not think about it constantly. Fortunately, there are several ways to pull your focus away from the pain. Although it’s natural for the pain you're in to occupy your mind, try not to let it be the only thing you think about.