You know that atopic dermatitis can be stressful and frustrating. Mindfulness is an opportunity to focus on relaxing the mind and body that may provide relief from the anxieties of atopic dermatitis.

Breathe Your Way to Better Zzzzs

One way to wind down before going to bed is to practice mindfulness techniques, such as the breathing exercise that follows. Mindfulness has been shown to improve sleep.

Breathing to relax.

Mindful breathing, also known as belly breathing, can help you relax the mind and body. Basically, it works by tuning on the body’s natural relaxation system. So why not give it a try?

Keep in mind that the goal is not to control your thoughts during this practice, but to be aware of them and return your attention to your breath. If you have any thoughts while you are breathing, just notice them instead of analyzing them.

Start off slowly by focusing for 10 breaths or for 2 minutes at a time, and slowly build up your practice as you feel more comfortable. Aim to work up to 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Come back to this technique regularly. You may find that the more you practice mindful breathing, the better you get at it.

Listen to this guided mindful breathing experience.

Many resources are available online to help you learn more about breathing and meditation, including various apps. Explore a few to find one that works for you.

Keeping Your Cool When Life Heats Up

Although we can all use a hand at better managing stress, it’s especially important when you have atopic dermatitis, because stress can directly impact your disease. The chemicals released by your body in response to stress can actually cause atopic dermatitis symptoms, increase inflammation, and make flares worse.

Studies have shown that mindfulness may actually help reduce the nervous system’s stress response, and, as a result, have a positive impact on some of the negative effects that stress can have on atopic dermatitis.

Focus on the small things.

Being mindful means taking a step back and really focusing on the small things that make up each moment. Try it out for yourself. Here are a few situations where you can practice being mindful in the moment:

When drinking a cup of coffee, notice:

  • How the coffee smells
  • The warmth of the mug in your hands
  • The taste of the coffee on your tongue

When listening to your favorite song, notice:

  • The sound of a specific instrument
  • What the lyrics mean to you
  • How hearing the song makes you feel

When petting a cat, notice:

  • The softness of its fur beneath your hand
  • The warmth of the cat on your lap
  • The vibration of the cat’s body as it purrs

What is a body awareness exercise?

Mindfulness is a skill that improves with practice—like playing the piano. Another mindfulness technique is body awareness exercise. It has been shown to provide immediate soothing benefits for people with areas of discomfort or pain. With a body awareness exercise, you keep your attention on the present moment by focusing on your breathing while mentally examining yourself, concentrating on one body part at a time. So take 10 minutes and give it a try.

Listen to this guided mindful body awareness exercise.

For more information and resources about atopic dermatitis, visit our Support and Resources page.

Health information contained herein is provided for general educational purposes only. Your healthcare professional is the single best source of information regarding your health. Please consult your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your health or treatment.