Our physical health can affect our mental health. Sometimes, this is good, such as when regular exercise alleviates depression symptoms. However, this is also a bad thing, like when Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) causes anxiety. We’ll share four ways to manage anxiety when you have COPD.
Learn Your Triggers for Easier Anxiety Management
As mentioned, physical and mental health are connected. Learning what triggers problems with your mental health, especially if those triggers come from your physical health, can make managing your anxiety easier. For example, many people with COPD experience anxiety when they notice a change in their breathing. They worry that something bad is happening because something feels wrong with their lungs. Your breathing with COPD can change on a daily basis. Reminding yourself of this and having processes in place to soothe the trigger, such as checking your blood oxygen level, can reduce anxiety.
Practice Breathing Exercises To Calm the Mind and Body
Breathing exercises are good for managing COPD and alleviating anxiety. When you feel anxious, even if it isn’t related to your physical health, you tend to breathe quickly. Taking slow deep breaths can help you calm down and is always good for opening your airways.
Pursed lip breathing is especially helpful for calming anxiety and easing COPD symptoms. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and exhale slowly through pursed lips. This forces your breathing to slow down, which can ease anxious feelings. It also keeps your airways open for longer than normal breathing, which makes each breath more effective. Whether you have anxiety or not, this breathing exercise is good for managing your COPD.
Discuss Anxiety Treatments With Your Doctor
Sometimes, you need extra help to manage anxiety. Multiple anxiety treatments are available that you can discuss with your doctor. Some people benefit from talk therapy, while others require medication. Some anxiety medications can negatively interact with COPD medications and treatments, so you’ll need to discuss the best and safest options with your doctor. It may take time to figure out which anxiety treatment is best for you, and that’s okay. Mental health is as complicated as physical health, but you will find a helpful solution.
Strive To Experience Joy No Matter What
It’s easy to get weighed down by life when you don’t feel your best. You need to acknowledge these unwell feelings, but you can’t get stuck on them. Strive to experience joy no matter what you’re going through, and look for the positives in your situation. For example, gardening may have brought you joy before your COPD diagnosis. You can still enjoy gardening! Throw your portable oxygen concentrator over your shoulder and find somewhere to garden comfortably. Enjoying your hobbies won’t magically fix everything, but it will inspire joy that helps you through these difficult times.
Managing anxiety with COPD is difficult, but these four ways to do so can help you feel better. Bridge to Care can help if you need an affordable oxygen concentrator to help you with your anxiety management. Our preowned concentrators are rigorously tested and reconditioned so that they’re high quality and affordable to help you breathe better.