If you have been following me for a while now, you already know that when it comes to living with arthritis, I go with faith, food, and fitness.
I get asked about how to fight against arthritis using faith, and in this post, I will show you exactly how you can use faith to fight arthritis through my story.
Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition that can make it difficult to perform even the simplest tasks. However, by drawing on the strength and guidance of our faith, we can overcome this challenge and live a whole and joyful life.
I’ll show you how I used faith in God and faith in myself to overcome the debilitating effects of arthritis and live a fulfilled life.
My journey with arthritis
I was officially diagnosed with arthritis when I was 27, although I began to experience symptoms in college at 21.
You would think that with a family history of arthritis, I should have been expecting it. However, I was in denial, and I attributed the pain I felt in my wrist to stress symptoms from my retail job then.
It hit me hard one morning when I experienced a full-body arthritic flare, which made me go to urgent care because I didn’t have good insurance then.
My symptoms were brushed off at urgent care and not considered ‘special.’ I was told to take some Aleve and Tylenol, and that was all.
I don’t know why I couldn’t connect the pain to arthritis, but maybe my mind wasn’t ready to consider the possibility.
I took a leave for six years and only got an official diagnosis when I was 27.
Within those six years, I had gained weight (about 65 pounds!), which worsened the symptoms because of the extra pressure on my joints.
While getting my official diagnosis, I could see and compare the extent of damage on my wrists (that’s primarily where the issue was) to what it was supposed to look like.
It was one of those moments when reality struck.
My rheumatologist explained that the damage could not be reversed because I had gone too long without a diagnosis.
However, the progression could be stopped. I think I remember starting arthritis medications with Humira injection, and it worked for a while until it didn’t.
I’ve been through several other medications recommended by my rheumatologist. We’ve done some trial and error, but I was blessed to maintain my relationship with her.
I’m currently on a biological medication for 5-6 years, and it’s been working very well.
I launched RA Warrior Fitness in March 2020 after losing my full-time job, and I didn’t expect many people to join the program, but SIXTY people joined!
At first, I dealt with people fighting RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and anyone interested in physical fitness, but I decided to niche down.
I had to learn through experience the importance of faith, food, and fitness to help me navigate the journey.
Now, at 39 years old, I use what I have learned to help other women struggling with RA, and I’m living my dreams, competing in bodybuilding competitions, and WINNING!
How to fight against arthritis using faith
You can look at faith in different ways, and for me, it was two ways:
- Faith in God
- Faith in myself
Faith in God
This comes first, regardless of anything, and it is personal. We can talk about fitness and food; although both are important, faith in God takes priority.
As a Christian, faith is natural to me, and I have strong faith in God, although not as easy as it sounds because, some days, it’s difficult to see past the pain.
However, I believe I can do anything with God and through Him, and I know with all certainty that He’s why I’m here today.
Faith in God also helps when I am going through some pretty rough days, and I recite some bible verses to myself consciously. It’s like drawing strength from above.
By believing in God, I make it not about the present feelings (pain, flare, depression) but about God. This realization fuels the engine to having faith in myself, which affects my mindset and motivates me to move past that present situation.
Faith in God also helps you to find purpose in life beyond your diagnosis.
Faith in yourself
When you teach people how to fight against arthritis, or you’re trying to find a solution for yourself, having faith in yourself is crucial.
You need to believe that you can do anything you put your mind to, regardless of physical limitations.
This has helped me navigate some harmful biases. I remember wanting to become a personal trainer after falling in love with fitness. Someone close to me at that time was super negative and asked me how I would be successful at it when I had rheumatoid arthritis.
But faith in God and myself helped me push through those challenges. My family was super supportive; however, their support might have seemed exaggerated and uninspiring if I didn’t believe in myself.
The truth is that faith plays a significant role in helping you fight against diseases.
Having faith in God and yourself can help provide the necessary emotional support, comfort, and hope to navigate the challenges of having arthritis.
Faith can also help to protect your mental health by giving you a positive outlook on your diagnosis and reducing mental symptoms like depression and anxiety, which can aggravate your symptoms.
Faith encompasses everything we do when fighting against arthritis because you need to believe in yourself to have a positive mindset. Believe you can meet your goals, regardless of the symptoms and flares.
To get past the bad days, you need to believe that you have help—supernatural help and are not alone.
Everyone’s journey with arthritis is different; if you focus on other things without believing in yourself and knowing yourself and your limits, you will feel more lost than when you started.
So, if you want to learn how to fight against arthritis, you will need to have faith.
Faith for you might be seen in the ways I mentioned, or yours might be a little different, but it is crucial to always believe in yourself.
As said, a man can only do as much as he sees. So, if you can’t see yourself doing it, you can’t.
Push yourself to believe.
Spiritual exercises that can help with arthritis
People consider meditation a spiritual exercise; it is an act of mindfulness that helps reduce stress and promote mental clarity.
People use meditation to calm their minds and focus on a line of thought. It’s like decluttering or detoxifying your mind.
Some arthritis warriors have claimed that meditation helps them to deal with arthritis and have a positive mindset. Over the years, meditation has been known to have several health benefits.
Many people consider yoga as a highly spiritual practice, and rightly so based on its origin.
Yoga is a practice that combines specific physical postures and breathing techniques along with meditation to help ease stress, improve flexibility, and increase mindfulness.
Prayer is a spiritual practice where you pray to a higher being.
Prayer can offer comfort and solace and help you feel connected. It can work as any support group by helping you feel heard, helped, and understood.
It can also improve your mental health by relieving anxieties, doubts, worries, and insecurities.
Gratitude can be considered a spiritual exercise but is open to interpretation.
However, it is an act of mindfulness where you focus on the positive aspects of your life by learning to appreciate and magnify good rather than bad.
When done right, it can help to improve your mood, motivate you, and relieve stress. However, to be positive, you must be careful of toxic positivity.
Serving is an exercise that goes beyond physical action.
Serving others can help you develop a purpose that will motivate you to keep living.
It also helps you create connections with people, which is excellent for your mental health, can relieve stress, and generally improve your mental health.
As I conclude this discussion on how to fight against arthritis with faith, remember the words of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Trust in God’s plan for you, and know He is always with you, even amid pain and struggle. Turn to Him in prayer and meditation, and allow His love and grace to fill your hearts and minds.
By staying faithful and persistent, you can overcome the challenges of arthritis and live a life of purpose and meaning.
May God bless you on your journey to health and wellness!
Have you tried developing a faith-based mindset to deal with arthritis?
READ ALSO: 18 EASY BIBLE VERSES ON EXERCISE TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED (Coming soon)