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COPD Symptoms and How to Deal with Them: 5 Steps for Staying Motivated

23 Feb 2017
| Under COPD, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Postitivity | Posted by | 8 Comments
COPD Symptoms and How to Deal with Them: 5 Steps for Staying Motivated

Sometimes we all need to feel a little inspired, especially when dealing with COPD symptoms.

When it comes to living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its associated symptoms, simply getting through your day-to-day can be an increasingly difficult endeavor. As the symptoms of COPD include breathlessness, fatigue, chronic coughing and an acute build-up of phlegm, these conditions can affect you not only physically, but can have several adverse effects on your mental health as well. For those living with a chronic lung disease such as COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or emphysema, depression and anxiety can often be a daily struggle. Though there are alternative treatment options to address COPD symptoms, life with lung disease isn’t easy. Although millions of strong-willed Americans have been able to cope and persevere through the harsh realities of COPD and COPD symptoms, at times, it can be difficult to stay motivated.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to break down COPD Symptoms and How to Deal with Them: 5 Steps for Staying Motivated.

How to Deal with COPD Symptoms

COPD Symptoms and How to Deal with Them: 5 Steps for Staying Motivated

When it comes to combatting COPD symptoms, it’s important to recognize that in managing your symptoms, managing your health overall is inextricably tied. To start, the first step you can take if you haven’t done this already is to quit smoking. At the Lung Institute, we cannot stress this enough. Prolonged exposure to smoking will actively decrease your lifespan with every cigarette. Although admittedly, smoking is an incredibly difficult habit to drop, with under 20% of people who attempt to quit finding success, it is nonetheless a crucial step in improving your health.

After quitting smoking, the next step is to address your exercise and dieting behavior. In managing your health in a general sense, proper diet and nutrition are paramount in improving your energy levels and maintaining a healthy weight. By changing your diet, it is possible to improve your blood oxygen levels and lessen the daily fatigue you experience. In similarity, by increasing your daily exercise and improving the efficacy of your muscle-use, it’s possible to better utilize your cardiovascular system and ultimately create greater blood-oxygen circulation.

So, You’ve Got Your Goal to Cope with COPD Symptoms. Here Are 5 Steps for Staying Motivated:

COPD Symptoms and How to Deal with Them: 5 Steps for Staying Motivated

5. Keep It Simple and Straight Forward

Often when it comes to setting goals for ourselves—whether it’s to lose a little weight or eat better—we often set our sights too high. We may say to ourselves, “I’m going to go to the gym five days a week starting today.” We may assure ourselves, “I’m going to drop 50lbs by July.” But more often than not, the sheer pressure of these goals can break our resolve when we inevitably fail in the initial steps. For example, if you set a goal for going walking around the block to start getting more exercise and can only make it to the mailbox, you can easily fall into a thought-pattern where you believe the goal is hopeless and give up. Instead, refocus your mind to see the effort of getting to the mailbox itself as a small goal on your way to getting around the block.

4. Give Yourself Room to Fail and Room to Succeed

If you set a challenging goal for yourself such as to quit smoking, it’s critically important that you give yourself room to fail. This doesn’t mean room to give up; however, it does mean forgiving yourself when after a few days into quitting, you have a hard day and just need a cigarette to calm your nerves. Although the ultimate goal is to quit and not need that cigarette, understanding that it’s okay to stumble along the way will keep you focused on your goal and spare you from getting discouraged.

3. Hold Yourself Accountable by Enlisting Others

This may seem a bit strange, but if you’ve got a goal, tell people about it. These can be your friends, your relatives, your neighbors, whoever. If that sounds like it could be uncomfortable, form a method to pitch it to people in a real and honest way. In fact, we invite you to write a short message of what your goal is and leave it in the comments below for the LI community. If your goal is to get a little farther from where you are now, to get a little more of your quality of life back, make your intentions clear and communicate them to others. This source of outside pressure will be helpful in keeping you committed to your goals and may serve as an inspiration for others.

2. Nail Down Your “Why”

For every action you take, there is a clear purpose behind it. This is your “why.” If your goal is to quit smoking, better your diet, or exercise a bit more, nail down your “why.” Why are these goals important to you? Sure, you may want to improve your health in the general sense, but specifically, why is it important to you? Maybe you want to be able to spend more time comfortably with your friends and family. Maybe you want to be in better health when playing with your grandkids. The key is to find out your purpose behind what you’re doing. Without a clear sense of purpose and direction, when things become challenging, it’ll be that much harder not to quit.

1. Reward Yourself

Perhaps, the most important item on this list is to reward yourself often. Although this can feel a bit too early for celebrations at times—particularly if you are still struggling or not seeing much progress—but the act of trying is a huge step in itself. It is a step you should reward yourself for whenever possible. For example, if your goal is to lose a little weight by getting a bit more exercise, walk as far as you can down the street and walk back. Measure your progress and each time your able to push yourself a little farther, reward yourself with your favorite activity. Watch your favorite show, read your favorite book or eat your favorite meal. The point is to incentive yourself for taking action and completing your goals. This continued reward system will continue to encourage you as you get closer to achieving your goal.

Moving Forward

COPD Symptoms and How to Deal with Them: 5 Steps for Staying Motivated

Staying motivated in the face of a physically and mentally exhausting condition can be difficult, but perseverance is key to any form of success. As a core condition of chronic lung disease, frequent shortness of breath can have a devastating effect on your quality of life. However, by changing your diet, consistently exercising and quitting smoking, it’s possible to greatly affect the pronouncement of symptoms within those with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. When lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way that you may expect, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than simply addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve quality of life.

As in the case of Don C., stem cell therapy may mean the difference between struggling to get out of bed to getting through his day-to-day activities without oxygen.

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic lung disease like COPD, PF or ILD, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult stem cell treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.

Interested in our article on COPD Symptoms and How to Deal with Them: 5 Steps for Staying Motivated? Share your thoughts and comments below.


  1. Matt

    6 months ago

    Hello June,
    Thank you for your question. You’re more than welcome to vent. That’s great to hear that you’ve had a good experience with acupuncture. Also, good luck with PT. We hope it goes well. The cost of treatment treatment depends on which treatment option is selected, in order to know which treatment option is best, more medical information is needed. Please give us a call at (855) 313-1149. That way one of our patient coordinators can go over your situation in greater detail. Thanks again and have a great day.

  2. June

    6 months ago

    I am interested in stem cell therapy. I need to know the cost or approximate. I was a smoker for many many years. When I finally was diagnosed with COPD and got on oxygen, I still tried to smoke by holding my fingers between the oxygen and the cigarette. (Ridiculous) I was walking down the hall one day with a cigarette cupped in my hand and passed a large mirror. I looked at myself and said “now arent you stupid”!! I guess the Lord was with me cause I quit that same day. Sure made my Grandkids happy. Anyway I use an all day inhaler twice a day and a rescue inhaler when I need it which is quite a lot. I also use a Nebulizer with a solution of Albuterol Sulfate.
    Okay now, for the last two years I have been going to an acupuncturist. Best decision I have made because COPD evidently isn’t an interesting disease so we need to do whatever we can until there’s some kind of cure. Well I’m glad you let me vent. I’m also starting PT tomorrow so wish me luck. I also expect to hear some good news from everyone..

  3. Matt

    6 months ago

    Hello Sharon,
    Thank you for your question. The cost of treatment depends on which treatment option is selected. In order to know which treatment options are needed, more medical information is needed. Please give us a call at (855) 313-1149 and one of our patient coordinators will gladly answer any questions you may have. Thanks again and have a great day.

  4. Robert M

    6 months ago

    I am suffering from Laryngeal cancer and Obesity. I just did my own grocery shopping for the first time in six months. I picked up tons of fruit and vegetables. When I was finished I was seriously winded but felt a whole lot better once I caught my breath.

  5. Matt

    6 months ago

    Hello Robert,
    Thank you for your message. If you are interested in learning more about stem cell therapy and the Lung Institute, please give us a call at (855) 313-1149. That way one of our patient coordinators can go over all your questions with you in greater detail. Thanks again and have a great day.

  6. Sharonontgomery

    6 months ago

    I thought the article was very helpful in.explaining different ways you can help yourself with dealing with COPD. Even though there is no cure there are things you can do to help yourself feel.better.

  7. Robert

    6 months ago

    I smoked for 25 years. Between 2-3 packs a day. I usually smoked Kool filter kings or Marlboro menthol. I am grateful to say that I surrendered my cigarette habit over 15 years ago. I was diagnosed with COPD in the late 1990s and I have been on many different types of medications for this disease. I don’t feel like I have improved at all. There are days that I can’t walk more than 10 feet when I feel as though I am not going to make it. I seem to get a little bit of relief if I can stick my head in the freezer of my refrigerator for a minute or so.
    I have ask the doctors that I have, if they will approve me for oxygen but they say ” I am OK ” that the test don’t give them the readings to allow that to happen. Since November of 2014, I have been in the emergency room of 2 different hospitals, 7 times. Their diagnosis has been pneumonia or COPD Aspirations. I have been prescribed numerous medications in the antibiotics and Prednisone fields for most of the time since November 2014 without any relief. My last month and a half I have been on antibiotics 3 times . One of these periods I again was prescribed Prednisone and I still haven’t had any relief. I would be very interested in how ( if possible )
    I could possibly be a candidate and if I could even afford it. I am a 100% disabled Veteran and live on a fixed income. Tho I am grateful for how much I receive, I would like to know more. Thank you.

  8. Sharon Weaver

    6 months ago

    Have been reading about the stem cell research, no where does it give a price. I know everyone is different but would like to know what a treatment would cost.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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