Keeping a positive outlook while struggling with pain, discomfort, isolation and all the negativity associated with HS isn’t easy. Some days, it seems downright impossible.

Digging your way out of it feels like a Herculean task.

But it can be done.

Here are just a few things to add to your arsenal to combat those days when HS drags you down.

Daydream

Let everything go and engage in some fantastical daydreaming. Ever wanted to climb Mount Everest? Hot air ballooning? Skiing in the Alps? Visiting Greece?

You can accomplish all that even if it is in your own mind.

Take some time to just daydream about what it would be like to be able to do whatever you wanted to do.

But only use it as an escape mechanism. It won’t solve anything, change anything, or cure anything. But while you are engaged in your own little world, the real world – and HS with all its issues – are at bay.

It may bring about a change in your mood or outlook.

If you allow it to.

Laughter

Laughter truly is good medicine with numerous health benefits. It has been proven that laughter releases endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. It also improves cardiac health, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress. So in addition to helping improve your mood and overall health, it may also help reduce the pain level of HS.

Engage in some banter with a friend who has a good sense of humor.

Watch a comedy television show or a movie you particularly enjoy.

Reach out to someone and tell them you’re having a bad day and need some uplifting. No one is going to judge you for being honest or for asking for help.

Laughter is proof that you won’t allow HS to take the most vital part of you.

Not to mention that ten to fifteen minutes of laughter burns about fifty calories!

Serotonin

Open those curtains and blinds and let that sun shine in.

Serotonin is a chemical in our bodies which reduces stress and helps regulate anxiety, as well as promotes a “feel-good” emotion.

One primary source of serotonin is the sun. If you have a tendency to feel more down or anxious on cloudy days, that’s because you’re not getting your serotonin fix.

Another primary source of serotonin is tryptophan, an amino acid which creates serotonin. Tryptophan is found naturally in cheese, pineapples, salmon, nuts and seeds and, of course, turkey. The protein in eggs also boosts blood plasma levels of tryptophan.

Serotonin has also been proven to help reduce pain levels which means HS patients could benefit from it.

So, what the heck. The next stretch of cloudy days, feel free to cook up a turkey, even if it is in July.

Exercise

If you are able to exercise in spite of your HS, try and do so on a regular basis.

Everyone knows exercise has a plethora of health benefits. But the most important benefit is the release of those endorphins that help improve your outlook.

Participating in exercise is also an ideal time to listen to your favorite music. Or to muse on challenges you are facing. By doing so, your endorphins improve your perspective on those challenges and help you focus on resolutions.

And if you engage in walking on a sunny day, you’re getting a double shot of endorphins in addition to your serotonin fix.

It’s okay that HS gets you down on occasion. Most HS patients have suffered depression and/or anxiety thanks to HS.

But it’s vital that you don’t dwell in those negative thoughts/feelings/emotions for too long.

Few things are more courageous than the image of a lion laughing in the face of adversity.

Defying HS by taking joy from wherever you can find it is like giving your enemy the finger.