Practicing positive psychology (PP) may be useful if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It focuses on how you can live to your fullest by embracing your personal strengths and focusing on concepts like gratitude, optimism, and purpose.
Researchers have linked practicing these and other PP themes to improved mental well-being among people with RA and other chronic conditions. It may even reduce symptoms such as pain and fatigue or help you manage them better.
You can connect with a mental health professional who can help you introduce PP into your life, or you can use other resources to guide your journey.
PP is a relatively new type of mental health theory that developed in the 2000s. It measures mental well-being through concepts like optimism, hope, and purpose. It links the positive aspects of an individual’s life to their ability to thrive.
PP links the following with well-being:
- embracing personal strengths
- expressing gratitude
- finding purpose in your life
- setting and achieving goals
- fostering close social relationships
- having compassion
- developing resilience (recovering quickly from tough situations)
- engaging in meaningful activities
- living in the moment
- practicing altruism (selfless concern for others)
These practices can be done together with other mental health interventions led by a psychotherapist, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Or you may want to practice them on your own. For example, you could keep a gratitude journal where you list one thing you’re grateful for every day.
Positive psychotherapy is a method that a therapist might use with you to practice PP. Some of the techniques in this method