The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Staying Positive with Lung Disease
Diagnosis with a serious chronic health condition such as COPD can leave you overwhelmed with how to cope with the condition and the tough emotions that come along with it. Left unchecked, those emotions can lead to depression and anxiety, which can exacerbate symptoms. Mental and emotional health are important to overall health, so learning coping skills is key to getting the most out of life and staying positive with lung disease.
You can improve your resilience by connecting with people. Developing positive relationships with family and friends can give you support and acceptance in all of life’s situations. You can also join organizations and volunteer. Helping others will connect you with people and give you the chance to encourage someone else.
Another way to become more resilient is to do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Even if your goals seem small, achievements of any size are great morale boosters. For example, if you used to be an avid gardener but now feel short of breath in the yard, try starting a container garden. If the pots are too heavy, ask a friend to help. Soon you could have herbs and flowers growing, and also have a new gardening friend.
Drawing on past experiences can help you during hard times. Think about times when you were faced with adversity and overcame it. You can do it again. Savor and celebrate the small victories. You’ve earned it.
It is important to take care of yourself. If you are feeling fatigued, it is okay to rest. If you feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, it is okay to talk with someone, such as a mental health provider. Take time to enjoy your favorite hobbies and activities. You could also try other forms of stress management, such as yoga, tai chi, guided imagery and meditation.
Be gentle with yourself and try to stay open to new opportunities and experiences. Even during tough times, laughing and maintaining a positive outlook can help you think of events in your life as opportunities to succeed.
Practicing these techniques, talking to a mental health provider and trying alternative therapies, such as stem cell therapy can help you improve your overall quality of life. If you or a loved one has lung disease, the Lung Institute might be able to help. To learn more about stem cell treatment options or to see if you qualify, contact us at (800) 729-3065.