Last week we discussed how you and your family could prepare for a fun and safe holiday season. This week we're focussing specifically on stress — and most importantly, how to limit it — this Christmas.
How Does Stress Affect Asthma?
Stress is a part of life, and although we can't avoid it, we can be proactive in trying to manage it. Stress is one of the most common asthma triggers and can exacerbate symptoms such as shortness of breath. It has also been linked to inflammation in the body — which directly affects the airways, restricting airflow into the lungs and causing difficulty breathing.
Stress is particularly problematic for people who have unmanaged asthma. This is because these people tend to have more severe asthma symptoms, and are also more likely to experience an asthma attack.
How To Manage Stress And Asthma
Have An Effective Treatment Plan
People with well-managed asthma should experience few symptoms and be able to enjoy their day-to-day lives with ease. If, however, your asthma is unmanaged, you may experience severe symptoms and an increased chance of having an asthma attack. If you notice an increase in your symptoms severity or require your reliever medication more frequently, you must make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss it further.
GET REGULAR EXERCISE
Regular exercise not only keeps your heart and lungs healthy, but it also releases endorphins, a feel-good hormone that is linked to emotional wellbeing and happiness. If you're looking for relaxing ways to reduce your stress, consider attending a yoga class, or taking up swimming as a way to unwind.
Sleep is crucial and plays an essential role in wellbeing and quality of life. In fact, a lack of sleep has been linked to inflammation in the body, and a less effective immune system. A loss of sleep is also strongly tied to depression and other adverse emotional states — such as stress — therefore ensuring a restful night's sleep is crucial when reducing stress.
Meditation is a cheap and easy way to reduce your stress levels and relax your body. Simply spending five to ten minutes a day in a calm environment, focussing on your breathing, can improve your mood and increase feelings of wellbeing significantly.
Although the holiday season can seem overwhelming, you can reduce your stress levels — and your asthma symptoms — by being mindful of your environment and actively practicing relaxation techniques. Reach out to your healthcare provider if you would like more advice on how to relax this Christmas.
For more information about AireHealth’s connected-portable nebulizer and how it can make your asthma treatment more effective, click here.
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