Stress and asthma

Stress is a common cause of asthma. The causative agent of asthma is what exacerbates the symptoms of asthma. When stress and asthma come in contact, shortness of breath, anxiety and even panic may begin. Stress can cause asthma symptoms to worsen and cause feelings of fear.

When stress begins to take hold of you – whether from paying bills, work or a child – the symptoms of asthma can quickly get out of control. Asthma, stress and anxiety make up a vicious circle.

When does asthma cause anxiety?

In chronic asthma, symptoms occur more than once a week, but not all the time. The treatment of chronic asthma includes long-term therapy, for example, inhaled steroids, plus immediate therapy with sudden exacerbation of asthma. And when the symptoms get out of control (in the red zone, an asthma attack), it is necessary to take prednisone for several days. The problem is that prednisone causes mood changes (side effect), adding to the already growing anxiety.

Remember that prednisone is a treatment for a short period. After the “splash” of the oral steroid, your mood will return to normal. Inhaled steroids do not cause permanent changes in mood.

Stress Asthma
Stress Asthma

If long-acting medicines do not work as they should, wheezing and contraction in the chest often happen, a vicious circle may start, when anxiety worsens asthma, and asthma worsens anxiety. Right now you need to see a doctor and talk about your symptoms, pathogens and stress. Also discuss the issue of making changes to the treatment program that would allow you to regain control of the symptoms of asthma again.



How to manage stress?

Stress is part of everyday life, whether you have asthma or not. That’s why it’s very important to find effective ways to manage stress, especially if you have asthma. Learn to relax before stress takes possession of you, and you can prevent shortness of breath and avoid an asthma attack.

  • Think about something else. Learn to change the thoughts that cause stress. What you think about, what you think, what you expect and what you say to yourself, determines how you will feel and how well to cope with stress.
  • Get rid of the causative agents of stress. To get rid of stressors, you first need to determine them. These can be problems with money, problems of relationships, grief, lack of support. If you can not cope with these stressors alone, seek professional help.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Try to avoid situations that could cause you stress. Practice the ability to correctly and efficiently manage time, for example, to transfer one’s obligations, when possible, to prioritize and leave time for yourself.
  • Do daily exercise. Do the exercises. Exercise with asthma is the best way to burn the accumulated stress and maintain your body in a healthy way.
  • Healthy sleep. With asthma and other chronic diseases requires a healthy and full sleep. If you do not sleep well or suffer from nocturnal asthma, you will have less energy and strength to cope with stress. The development of good habits, regarding sleep, is very important. We offer seven tips that can help:
    1. Do not go to sleep until you feel drowsy.
    2. Develop a special ritual before going to bed and stick to it.
    3. If you have trouble sleeping, do not watch TV, read or eat in bed.
    4. It is not recommended to engage in physical exercises or debilitating activity before going to bed.
    5. Avoid caffeine.
    6. Refuse to drowse.
    7. Lie down and get up at the same time, including the weekend.
  • Healthy eating. Heavy food and sugar are infertile, but rich in calories, so can cause a feeling of fatigue and immobility. Limit the amount of sugar, caffeine and alcohol – this will improve health and reduce stress.
  • Transfer powers. Stress is often the result of a large number of responsibilities. You can free up some of the time and thereby reduce stress by passing some of your obligations to someone else. Use the team approach and share the burden on everyone equally. Try using the following tips at home or modify them for work:
    1. Make a list of tasks.
    2. Take the time to teach someone to do some work or specific tasks.
    3. Transfer obligations to another.
    4. Change the unpleasant tasks.
    5. Give clear instructions with a timetable.
    6. Be grateful; people need to know that you value them and their good work.
    7. Allow others to perform tasks using their own methods.
    8. Do not be a perfectionist.
  • Find support. Life is sometimes very tough, so the support of friends and family is very important. In fact, social support is the only important area against stress. Here are some tips that can help you answer questions from your friends and family about how they can help you. Family and friends can do the following:
    1. Help you stay active and independent as much as possible.
    2. Provide emotional support.
    3. Help with household chores and shopping and others, if necessary.
    4. Learn about your condition and about the prescribed treatment, visit with you a doctor.
    5. Encourage and help you follow your treatment program.
  • Practice various relaxation exercises. Exercises for relaxation include deep breathing, which relaxes muscles and clears from negative thoughts. If you practice regularly, you can use relaxing techniques to reduce stress, when necessary. Relaxing exercises include diaphragmatic breathing, imposition of images, repetitive phrases (repetition of the phrase that promotes relaxation, for example, “relax and forget all bad”) and progressive muscle relaxation. Audio cassettes, CDs and books will teach you similar exercises.
  • Exercises for relaxation

    • 2-minute relaxation exercise. Concentrate your thoughts on yourself and your breathing. Take a few deep breaths, slowly exhaling. In your thoughts, examine your body. Pay attention to tense or compressed parts of the body. Try to relax these places. Try to release the tension. Twist your head in a circle, slowly, once or twice. (Stop moving if they cause discomfort.) Twist your shoulders back and forth a few times. Let the muscles relax completely. Think of something good. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. After that, you will feel much relaxed.
    • Exercises for mental relaxation . Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose. When you exhale, say the word “one”, or a short word such as “peaceful” or a short phrase “I am calm” or “I am safe”. Continue this for 10 minutes. If you begin to get distracted, slowly return your attention to the breath and the chosen word or phrase. Allow breathing to normalize and calm down.
    • Deep breathing. Imagine that you have a hole just below the navel. Breathe in through this opening and fill the abdominal cavity with air. Let the air rise from the abdominal cavity upward and come out (as if the ball is blown off). With each new, long and slow exhalation you will feel more relaxed.
More at:  Guide to use Powder inhaler for Asthma Patients
How to control Stress in Asthma
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