Manage your stress
Stress can be a COPD trigger. It may cause your breathing rate to increase, which can make you feel out of breath. Living with a chronic medical condition can increase how often a person feels stressed. People with COPD may be stressed about a busy or crowded environment, completing an unavoidable strenuous task or when they feel symptoms getting worse.
After acknowledging that you’re feeling stressed, you can do a number of things to calm yourself.
What can you do about stress?
- Change your pace or do something different.
- Try to keep as active as possible. Exercise can reduce stress hormones and increase production of endorphins.
- Share the load with a friend or counsellor.
- Be realistic about the number and types of activities you can do in a day. You may need to swap jobs in the house which demand too much energy (e.g., cooking instead of gardening).
- Conserve your energy so that you still have time to do the things you enjoy.
- Learn to accept responsibility for your own feelings. Even when things seem unfair with your health, it's up to you to regain control over your feelings and actions.
Acknowledgement for assistance with this information to Claire Dawson, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Canterbury Respiratory Services.
Read more about managing stress here.