Over the years, there have been many tricks and tips I have used to try to control my eczema - eating healthier, working out, staying away from the things that I am allergic to, and so forth. But regardless of the emphasis, time, and energy I put towards preventable action, I still flare.
I have come to the understanding that my eczema is just too unpredictable. I can’t control my environment 100% of the time, therefore I cannot control when my skin is going to breakout or not. So instead of focusing on what I can’t control (my skin), I decided to focus on what I can control (my mind).
The mind AND body
I am a strong believer that there is a mind and body connection that is greater than many people may think or know and eczema is no exception to this. In the renown book, The Secret, Quantum Physicist and Public Policy Expert Dr. John Hagelin wrote, “Our body is really the product of our thoughts. We’re beginning to understand in medical science the degree to which the nature of thoughts and emotions actually determines the physical substance and structure and function of our bodies.”
Stress leads to flares
Meaning, that whatever I think and believe on one end is going to show up physically on the other end. For example, stress is known to be one of the biggest triggers for eczema. As soon as my mind begins to feel any type of tension, worry or anxiety, my body reacts to it and shows up as a flare on my skin. But what if I thought positively in moments of despair instead of stressing out even more?
Another example is when I feel happy, my skin coincidentally looks great! In moments of joy, I tend to think and speak out loud how wonderful my eczema looks – “My skin looks clear today! I feel less itchy!” This positive reinforcement creates a healthy cycle both mentally and physically.
With this newfound awareness, I decided to create a healing mindset or mentality that I would practice daily whether or not I had a flare. The purpose of this was to practice controlling my mind and thoughts, so when I do flare I don’t go into a downward spiral mentally, and therefore physically. These daily exercises would create a sense of optimism, hopefulness and calmness in my body before, during, and/or after a flare. I truly believe this way of living and being is what supported me in healing my eczema by approximately 90% and I want to share it with you!
Healing mindset formula
Here are 5 at-home practices I have done and still continue to do in order to create a healing mindset:
1. Practice gratitude
Being thankful for things and people outside of my eczema reminds me of all of the positivity happening in my life. I show my gratitude through prayer as well as listing things I am grateful for like my family, home, comfortable bed, clothing, health, etc.
2. Express yourself
Expressing myself allows me to convey my thoughts and feelings in a healthy manner. I do this by journaling at least once a day about how I’m feeling or about things that are happening in my life. Journaling creates an “emptying” sensation where I am able to release everything that is stressing me out, including my eczema, in order to create room for gratitude and healing.
3. Say positive affirmations
Words have a significant impact on our mental and physical state. Every day, I say positive and empowering phrases out loud that uplift and inspire me. One great way I create affirmations is by writing down all of the negative thoughts or phrases I have about my skin and body and replacing them with powerful, positive statements or affirmations. For example, I used to say, “My skin is ugly,” and now I say, “My skin is healthy and beautiful.” I also used to say, “I suffer from eczema,” and now I say, “I live with eczema.”
4. Surround yourself with supportive people
It’s important to have people you can lean on when life gets tough, including your eczema. Be sure that your inner circle is alleviating your stress and not adding to it. Online eczema support groups have been fundamental for my healing. It’s like having a group of friends who understand exactly what you’re going through and who are willing to listen and give you great advice.
5. Do things that make you happy
Despite our eczema, we still have a life to live and fulfill and it’s up to us to do so. Therefore, I do what I love and want responsibly! If I want to eat a tub of ice-cream one day, or wear shorts even if my legs are flaring, I will do it. If doing what I love makes me happy and not stressed, that’s what I’m going to do to prevent and alleviate my eczema.
In my experience, this is what worked for me and what may support you in return. Remember, your thoughts can influence your mind and as a result, your body. Have you tried any of these steps before? Have they worked for you? Comment below and let me know!
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?