Manage Stress

Reduce Stress

Learning to manage stress and relax is not easy with today's busy lifestyle.  Emotional stress is a common trigger for asthma. 

Common Symptoms of Stress

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Trembling or shakiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle tension
  • Tight jaws
  • Rapid and shallow breathing

Make a Plan to Reduce the Stress in Your Life

Think about the different events or situations that cause you to feel stress.  Write them down.  This may help you better prepare for the things that you know cause stress or make a change to avoid them altogether. 

Tips For a Low-Stress Life

Here are some basic tips to help manage stress:

Practice relaxation techniques.  Performed regularly, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and imagery can successfully relieve physical and emotional stress and tension.  

Exercise most days of the week.  Physical exercise is a quick, easy way to relieve stress-related tension.  Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase chemicals in the brain that affect moods. Stretching exercises also reduce stress by relaxing tense muscles. 

Spend time with friends and family. Balancing work and play is important. Plan ahead. Set aside time to spend time with significant others if you find that work is starting to take over your life.

Arrange for time alone each day.  Even 10 minutes alone allows your inner voice to surface.  This helps to put things into perspective.

Get the amount of sleep your body needs each night.  Lack of sleep can leave you moody, tense, and less prepared to deal with stressful situations.

Eat three balanced meals each day.  Too much stress can drain your energy, leaving you weak, fatigued, and feeling even more stressed!  Avoid foods that make stress worse such as caffeine, alcohol, and refined (processed) foods.  Instead, increase your body's supply of the nutrients needed to handle stressful situations.  Choose fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products. 

Set short- and long-term goals.  Choose realistic goals that you can track and meet.  This will give your life direction.  You'll be able to make progress, and you'll feel better about yourself.

Talk with someone about your problems.  Don't let your problems build up.  A trusted supporter can sometimes help you see a problem more clearly or help you think of practical solutions.