!! STRESS !!

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi all,

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\"wink. 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!!!!!!!!! smile

Hope this is helpful.



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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jacee & all,

    Thanks for that Jacee - also, I do hope that both you and Rita have recovered from the very stressful days you had yesterday.

    Regarding the above, I would love to try Tai Chi and hope that when I move, the local leisure centre will still be having classes (praying that the coming drastic council cuts won't affect this). I have tried doing the 'Morning Salutation' before, as it can be so beautifully calming, but I am afraid it beats me these days and leaves me gasping. However, always the optimist when it comes to exercise - I am sure with regular, gradual learning under a trained teacher I will 'get there' eventually. This is one area where 'ambulatory' 02 isn't much use, as you can't exercise well while carrying your oxygen at the same time - hence for that sort of exercise I would have to go without. If only they would allow us both a home concentrator AND liquid portable, life would be so much easier!

    I notice we haven't heard from Stitch for a while, I do hope she is well and that we hear from her soon.

    I'm off for a nice de- stressing shower and much needed hairwash. I have forgone the hairwash all week, as - apart from it's exhaustive aspect - the bathroom was like a fridge. Today though, we have 5' ABOVE freezing, and expect a rise to 8' tomorrow! So I will 'make hay while the sun shines' , as it is due to get colder again next week I think.

    Take care all, will probably 'chat' again a bit later on. Lots of love, Vanessa x

    Jacee performs her relaxing yoga routine ......

    :zen: :zzz: :zzz: :zzz: :zzz: :zzz: :zzz: ......

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  • Posted


    This is one area where 'ambulatory' 02 isn't much use, as you can't exercise well while carrying your oxygen at the same time - hence for that sort of exercise I would have to go without. If only they would allow us both a home concentrator AND liquid portable, life would be so much easier!


    Hi Van, I have a concentrator AND portable - not sure why you cant? In fact, I have choice of portable, though had to fight for it - I have a \"normal\" portable cylinder which I keep in the car and an extra-lightweight one for when I amble around. They told me I cold only have one but the \"normal\" was too heavy and took all my breath, so defeating the object, but the smaller one did not last long enough for me to be out all day (and constant changing of cylinders is exhausting). However, these are not liquid oxygen, but gas cylinders. Does this make a difference?

    Jacee :zzz: :zzz:


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  • Posted

    Oops, forgot to say.........

    I also exercise using oxygen, as it has quite a long tube so I put the cylinder on the floor/on a chair and exercise by the side of/around it (a bit like dancing around a handbag - remember?)

    Jacee :oops:

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  • Posted

    Hi Jacee,

    Prob re portable liquid 02 - only uses a 4 foot hose - can get a six foot but that doesn't deliver the 02 as efficiently. Thats why exercise / housework etc is mostly done using the backpack - or for cycle / treadmill I hang it off handlebars. Still, overall i'm happy with liquid, seems to be pro's + cons with each system. And yes .... I am now a 'handbag dancer' par excellence! Van :wink:

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  • Posted

    I was very interested to read the destressing techniques. I use the magic journey (waves on a shore) often but had not thought of using it in conjunction with a particular piece of music to help recall and destressing when in public. Jacee, you obviously researched this well, can't think of anything to add. Thanks for puttting in the effort.

    :choc: fa

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  • Posted

    Much as I loved my work, making the decision to leave has had an amazing effect - no more stress. I can now sleep through and wake refreshed rather than startling awake with the knot of anxiety, wondering what I have left undone. Here's wishing everyone a stress-free Christmas.



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  • Posted

    Hi Jacee

    It sounds like you made the right decision. It must be hard leaving a job you love.

    I can relate to the stress factor though. Part of me feels it drives me!

    Last year I was out of work for a month I was terrified I would go off the rails, no routine etc.

    In fact, it was the best month of my life, I just relaxed..I got up early every day with a smile on my face. I got into the garden and house etc. The best part was spending more time with my grandson. Getting to pick him up from school and just walk around the park for a chat was fantastic! It was an honour to hear all about his day and his joys and concerns. I began to count my blessings more. I ate well and had more time to be myself. If I could afford it I would work part time in a very low stress job now..maybe a small bookshop or art gallery :cool: and only 1 or 2 days a week!!

    Enjoy this time Jacee - you have earned it and truly deserve it xx

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  • Posted

    Thanks for this lovely message Flossie.

    Although I am not goiung out to work I am still working at the moment - just catching up on paperwork, but the absence of stress is wonderful.

    I am another one who adores spending time with grandchildren - they are so, so special. Like you I consider it a privilege to be entrusted with their thoughts, hopes, dreams and secrets, and love to learn from them, seeing things through their eyes. Magical


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