The official blog of the Lung Institute.
A positive attitude can make difference.
When you suffer from a chronic lung disease like COPD or pulmonary fibrosis, it’s important to keep to your treatment regimen if you want to see results. A day of missed medications or a lack of exercise can cause your lungs to degenerate quicker, a fact sufferers know all to well. However, few people realize the effects of mental health on their lung disease. Although the lungs are the constant focus, having a positive attitude can help people progress quicker down the path to better breathing. Recent studies have even noted that positive attitudes and pulmonary rehab results are directly linked.
Attitude and Pulmonary Success
Here are some specific statistics from the report:
- 30 percent of those that start a pulmonary rehabilitation class drop out.
- Of the 111 patients in the study with COPD, 35 people dropped out and 76 people completed the class.
- People who show less depression were predicted to finish the class.
- Although this correlation held up for women, men did not see the same dip in success with depression.
Depression and COPD
It’s estimated that almost 40 percent of people with COPD also suffer from depression, and it’s easy to understand why. COPD causes a lot of changes to your body. Breathlessness, weight loss, sleeping issues, eating problems and decreased energy are just a few of the physical changes that you may experience over the course of the disease. Many of these changes can lead to feelings of loss and negativity because you can no longer do the things you used to do. This can lead to clinical depression.
Unfortunately, depression can actually exacerbate your physical symptoms. For example, feeling down can cause you to have trouble following your treatment plan. You may find that it’s easy to forget your medications or not exercise. You may even turn to alcohol, cigarettes or other unhealthy habits to cope, which can cause additional problems.
Ways to Stay Positive with COPD
- Join the Zen Zone: People who meditate daily actually display more positive emotions than those who do not.
- Just Write: There are manyhealth benefits to journaling, one of which is increased positivity when journaling about intensely positive experiences. Not only can you relive the happiness as you write it, but you can also relive it every time you read it.
- Surround Yourself with Support: Joining a support group is a great way to learn more about your condition and new medical advancements. It can also help you make new friends and to maintain an active social life.
- Pause to Play: Oftentimes, we forget to make time for just having fun. Between work and home life, we forget that spending time with friends and participating in your hobbies are just as important to feeling well.
- Plan for Possibilities: As you begin to think more positively, you will begin to see more possibilities. Be ready for them, and be ready to seize the opportunities.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a lung disease, keep up with your pulmonary rehabilitation and do your best to stay positive. If you ready to stop managing and start treating your disease, contact the Lung Institute to see if stem cell therapy is an option for you by calling (800) 729-3065.