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Recent events have caused me enormous stress :steam: and I remembered that Stitch had asked about stress and copd. So, I looked it up, read a lot, sifted out a lot of rubbish :roll: and ended up with something that some may find helpful:
Our body has only one way of responding to physical and mental stresses. Chemical changes occur as we prepare to confront or avoid the stress (\"fight or flight\". This shows itself as physical changes occur in our body: our heart beats faster, our breathing rate increases, the muscles we use become tense, etc.
If your breathing is already difficult due to COPD, stress can set off a downward spiral. When you feel stress, you may become shorter of breath. Your neck, shoulder, and chest muscles tense and you become anxious. Then you begin to breathe faster, which tires your breathing muscles more, trapping air in your lungs. This results in your breathing becoming even more difficult and so your anxiety increases - recognise the vicious circle folks? What can we do?
Talk with your family, friends, and your doctor, about ways you can get support. Tell your family and friends the things you need help with and the things that you can manage.
Acting can make a positive change or resolve a concern. For example, you could try labelling three columns as things to do today, this week, sometime and prioritise your time and efforts.
Try to keep as active as possible. Ask your doctor, consultant or nurse about exercise and COPD.
Make sure your goals are FLEXIBLE. You may need to adopt new goals if the old ones cannot be attained. Always have a plan B and emotionally prepare yourself for this option.
Talk yourself into being patient. Setbacks and delays happen to many people, including those with COPD Remember we are human, so why do we expect to always perform faultlessly? :oops:
Learn to turn off the stress response in your body. Relaxation can prevent or lessen the degree of tension you experience when feeling stressed.
Stress may change your breathing patterns causing shallow breathing from the chest. The key to decreasing shortness of breath is to use pursed lip and belly breathing whenever you start to feel anxious. When you feel yourself becoming short of breath, stop what you're doing and lie down. Or you can sit down, relax your arms and shoulders, and lean forward, resting your upper body on your forearms. In either position, you can use pursed lip breathing or belly breathing to help restore your breath and your sense of calm. Other ways to relieve, or even prevent, stress include listening to music, talking with a friend, doing gentle movement (such as Tai Chi or yoga), or listening to a relaxation tape.
Try this technique
1. Move and stretch all parts of your body in turn.
2. Relax; check your posture and make sure that your shoulders are down, etc.
3. Try the breathing techniques you were taught.
4. Shut your eyes if you can and try to visualise a pleasant scene. Water scenes are often very relaxing particularly if they are repetitive such as waves on the beach. Try putting some music in your visualisation and note details in your scene. Your mind will learn to associate that music with relaxation. You can then play it or sing it to yourself to relax you when you are away from home. Stay put for a while, then open your eyes when you are ready.
For the long haul consider practising Tai Chi or Yoga, or book a regular massage. And, if all else fails, open a bottle of wine!!!!!!!!!
Hope this is helpful.
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