COPD: Coping with Stress

Life can be full of stress sometimes, especially when you’re managing a health condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Everyone has certain things that trigger stressful feelings. It could be family arguments, rush-hour traffic, too many bills to pay, or anxiety about your health. The first step in handling stress is to identify your stress triggers.

The way you react to those triggers determines how stress affects you. Unmanaged stress can cause headaches, digestive troubles, sleep problems, and high blood pressure. It can make you feel irritable, depressed, or hopeless. It’s important to learn healthy ways to relieve stress. These tips can get you started:

  • Relax your body and mind. Try to exercise daily. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or positive imagery, for at least 15 minutes a day.

  • Learn to say no. Give yourself the time you need to get things done. That way you won’t take on too much.

  • Make time to talk. Talk with friends, attend a support group, or see a mental health counselor. That can help you feel a little less overwhelmed.


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