Advertisement

5 Simple Strategies to Reduce Psoriasis Stress

If you’re feeling the mental and emotional burden of living with psoriasis, try adding one of these to your day.

5 Simple Strategies to Reduce Psoriasis Stress

Mental and emotional stress are associated with more severe psoriasis and stress can trigger psoriasis flares. Additionally, stress can also negatively impact your overall physical and mental health, contributing to things like heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, depression, and reduced immune function.

Get help managing stress
Addressing mental and emotional burdens like stress is a key component of the guidelines for managing psoriasis. It is recommended that people with psoriasis take steps to address these burdens, such as working with a counselor or therapist.

In addition to working with a healthcare provider that focuses on mental health, below are four simple daily strategies that might help you lower your stress levels.

Do something mindful
Mindfulness activities like meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and tai chi can help reduce stress. Activities like tai chi and yoga may have added benefits for people who have psoriatic arthritis.

One of the best aspects of mindfulness activities—they are low cost in terms of both money and time. There are plenty of free videos and resources available online and even an investment of 10 minutes a day can offer benefits.

Get outdoors (if you can)
Keeping with the theme of mindfulness, try to spend some time outdoors in a natural environment. Spending time outdoors, especially in a natural setting like a park, has been shown to reduce stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercising outdoors in a natural setting may have additional benefits, including improved mood and self-esteem.

A study published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in August 2020 found that restriction of outdoor activities was associated with an exacerbation in psoriasis symptoms, as well as an exacerbation of stress and depression and anxiety symptoms.

If you do not have access to a park, you may want to try looking at media of a natural environment. Research has shown that viewing images of natural landscapes and scenery can lower stress levels.

Limit your news consumption
While access to a constantly updating news cycle keeps us informed, it can also increase our stress levels, especially when the news is troubling. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends limiting the amount of time you spend looking at the news—for example, limiting news consumption to a 30-minute block of time, twice a day.

Stay connected
Feelings of loneliness and isolation negatively impact both physical and mental health and are associated with worse outcomes for many different diseases and conditions.

Take time to connect with the important people in your life. Also remember that the same devices and apps that allow you to stay in touch with friends and family can also connect you with your healthcare providers—telehealth appointments can help you meet with providers to discuss psoriasis treatment, stress, and mental health.

Medically reviewed in October 2020.

Sources:
William D. James, Dirk M. Elston, et al. "Seborrheic Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Recalcitrant Palmoplantar Eruptions, Pustular Dermatitis, and Erythroderma." Andrews' Diseases of the Skin. Thirteenth edition, 2020.
National Psoriasis Foundation. "Causes and Triggers."
National Psoriasis Foundation. "Life with Psoriasis."
Cleveland Clinic HealthEssentials. "7 Strange Things Stress Can Do to Your Body."
Craig A. Elmets, Craig L. Leonard, et al. "Joint AAD-NPF guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with awareness and attention to comorbidities." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2018. Vol. 18, No. 2.
Sarah Kasprowicz and Peter A. Lio. "Complementary and Alternative Medicine." Dermatology. Fourth Edition, 2018.
Elsevier Patient Education. "Psoriatic Arthritis."
Adam Moore, Thomas Gruber, Jennifer Derose and Peter Malinowski. "Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2012. Vol. 6, No. 18.
Christopher R. Berghoff, Linnie E. Wheeless, et al. "Mindfulness Meditation Adherence in a College Sample: Comparison of a 10-Min Versus 20-Min 2-Week Daily Practice." Mindfulness, 2017. Vol. 8.
Hannah R. Koerten,  Tanya S. Watford, Eric F. Dubow and  William H. O’Brien. "Cardiovascular effects of brief mindfulness meditation among perfectionists experiencing failure." Psychophysiology, 2020. Vol. 57, No. 4.
David G. Pearson and Tony Craig. "The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments." Frontiers in Psychology, 2014. Vol. 5.
Diana E. Bowler, Lisette M. Buyung-Ali, Teri M Knight and Andrew S Pullin. "A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments." BMC Public Health, 2010. Vol. 10.
N. Qwynne Lackey, Deborah A. Tysor, et al. "Mental health benefits of nature-based recreation: a systematic review." Annals of Leisure Research, 2018. Vol. 10.
Kirsten M. M. Beyer, Aniko Szabo, Kelly Hoormann and Melinda Stolley. "Time Spent Outdoors, Activity Levels, and Chronic Disease among American Adults." Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 2018. Vol. 41, No. 4.
Hyunju Jo, Chorong Song and Yoshifumi Miyazaki. "Physiological Benefits of Viewing Nature: A Systematic Review of Indoor Experiments." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2019. Vol. 16, No. 23.
Daniel K. Brown, Jo L. Barton and Valerie F. Gladwell. "Viewing Nature Scenes Positively Affects Recovery of Autonomic Function Following Acute-Mental Stress." Environmental Science & Technology, 2013. Vol. 47, No. 11.
Adnan Bashir Bhatti and Anwar ul Haq. "The Pathophysiology of Perceived Social Isolation: Effects on Health and Mortality." Cureus, 2017. Vol. 9, No. 1.

Featured Content

article

How to Maintain an Active Lifestyle With Psoriasis

Don't let psoriasis keep you indoors.
article

If You Have Psoriasis You Need to Ask Yourself This Question

Psoriasis is a different experience for everyone. Answering this question can help you understand your experience.
article

The Reasons People Stop Treating Psoriasis

Up to 30 percent of people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis are receiving no treatment at all.
article

Tracking Your Psoriasis Triggers

One of the best ways to manage your psoriasis symptom flare-ups is to keep track of what triggers them.
article

How to Soothe a Psoriasis Flare

Ease the itching and irritation of a psoriasis flare with these tips.