person on ground reaching for a heart shaped rock on a climbing wall

Practice What I Preach: Mind Over Matter

I’ve always been a true believer in the saying, ‘mind over matter’. If I think it, it can be. If I will it, I find a way and if I want it, I will make it happen. And I did. I was always successful in my endeavors.

My rheumatoid arthritis, as with almost everything, turned my thoughts on their heads. My mantra didn’t work on it. As much as I pretended to be well, I didn’t get better. As much as I tried to ignore my RA completely, it kept ruling my life. I couldn’t just will my immune system to work properly.

Regaining some control with rheumatoid arthritis

2020 marked the first year I actually made a resolution and stuck to it. It was a general ‘do better for myself’. I need to stop fighting my body, be patient, and work with it.

Maybe if I listened to my body’s needs, I could have better disease management. I could feel better, get more done, and just have more/some control.

Staying consistent with my resolution

Usually, within the first few weeks of a new year, I let up on resolutions but so far I’ve been doing well with this one. I’m eating better, exercising regularly, resting when I need it and (the biggest thing), not feeling guilty about my limitations. It helps that I announced my intentions on social media and am posting updates on everything. I have been consistent and it’s starting to show.


Self-doubt began to creep in

Over the last couple of days, some seeds of self-doubt weaseled their way into my mind.

“I used to be a high-level rock-climber and now I’m so out of shape that I can’t even do a 15-minute abs workout?”

“The stiffness in my knees was actually getting better…how is the pain worse just because I didn’t get a good night’s sleep??”

I’m keeping my eyes on the prize (better disease management), but these stray thoughts still appear. How do I keep these thoughts from growing? How do I keep these seeds from sprouting and derailing any good work I’ve done so far? It may be time to revisit mind over matter!

How I try to overcome self-doubt

I can’t control my RA, it has a mind of its own, but I can accept my limitations and change the conversation in my head.

"So what if I can’t rock-climb right now. I am slowly increasing my exercise stamina, which was non-existent at the end of last year."

"It is annoying I flared up from one restless night but I can cancel it out with either a better night or more rest during the day."

Practicing mind over matter

If I think it, it can be. If I will it, I find a way and if I want it, I will make it happen. It’s time to practice what I preach. It’s high time I get back into that winner’s mindset I was so fond of all those years ago.


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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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