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Learn How to Manage The Stress From Living With Asthma...

Not being able to breathe has to be one of the most frightening things to go through both for body and mind. We so often hear about the physiological challenges of those with asthma struggle with, but seldom about the emotional side. Often, the stress that comes from dealing with asthma and it's complications can exacerbate the very symptoms you're trying to subdue! However, that being said, let's be clear asthma is a real physiological disease, it's Never 'just all in your head', stress can be a Trigger for asthma just as it can be for heart attacks and other conditions and diseases and your total immune system..

[ Some of the ladies of LivingThruGrace who live with Asthma have been creating new healthy habits with their diet! Here Clawdie who used to love junk sweets has made a real turnaround through embracing whole natural healing foods that support her lungs and body!! She and Niki have just made a batch of plant based 'tuna' using chickpeas and anti-inflammatory Turmeric! Woo Hoo!! ]

Those of us who live with asthma must learn to effectively manage our stress levels as a part of our complete asthma control plans. Hey, we're all human [ aren't we? LOL!! ], there may be many times when we are completely ineffective ( many, many times LOL!) in managing our stress levels; it happens! It's important though, to remember to do our best to focus on not allowing our circumstances to completely demolish our lives..There are some factors which will most definitely enhance the success of stress management, some of these are:

*Making sure you're eating a healthy and balanced diet that is free from what I call 'Franken Foods' foods full of artificial ingredients, additives, chemicals, foods which are processed and full of sugars and sodium, refined white flours, hormone filled meats and fish, artificial sweeteners, and fried fried foods. [ this isn't to say one should never or will ever eat junky foods from time to time, - you know we ALL do :{} ] but to be aware of the ingredients you're putting into your body [I can't stress how important this point is]. There are many 'treats' with better recognizable ingredients without chemicals and additives these days.

*Eating a diet full of anti-inflammatory foods because inflammation is at the root of most disease and asthma is no exception as our bronchial tubes and lungs stay on the inflamed side! Foods high in sugar, salt and like mentioned before Un-natural, Un recognizable ingredients will only add to this problem, and us 'Heavy Breathers' (got's) problems a plenty! Anti-inflammatory foods help to shut down the inflammatory markers in our body and increase healthy 'gut' bacteria so inflammation can't occur. I will go deeper into anti-inflammatory foods and how they can aid in our healing in the next blog.

*Exercise, some type of movement [if your doctor says it's safe for you at the time] is not only a powerful stress reliever, but can help keep those overworked asthmatic wrought lungs strong! Anything you enjoy doing can work; dancing, jumping around on a trampoline, a daily walk with the family pet, anyone ever dance out with their pet? :{} etc...

[ Our pets know how to get da naps on! :() If only we could take a pager or two from their book! ]

*Get some sleep! this one is a real challenge for me as my body isn't very good at this particular activity LOL!! However, sleep is a powerful healer for the body, and mind. A sleeping body is working efficiently on rejuvenate and support healthy brain function, this helps us memory retention, and the processing of information. [Good sleepers make Smarty Pants! :() ] Another important aspect of sleep is that it aids in the control of Emotions and behaviors and our ability to cope [that's a big one folks!], a direct hit for stress control. Lack of sleep is linked to higher rates of depression, anger issues, mood swings and problem behaviors. Wow this is reason enough for us all to leap into the 'bed wagon' and learn how to begin getting more sleep!

*Relax! Easier said than done right? Learning to relax is critical in easing stress. As stated earlier exercise is a great stress reliever and will help to relax the mind long after because of the release of Endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are the 'Happy Chemicals' [Neurotransmitters] made by our body, they are what make us feel good, they are also responsible for blocking pain and controlling our emotions [see pattern here folks? :() ] Learn to be a kid again!

Play isn't only for the young. In fact playing has multiple health benefits for both our spirit and our bodies!! Unfortunately competitive play is the only kind really recognized amongst adults in our society. :/ However, Play in it's essence, brings joy and that in itself can aid in lowering blood pressure and tension. Play, also enhances our creative juices and our problem solving abilities! Play trains our brains to think outside the box! Want to join a knitting club, start your own book club, or just take on solo activities like these, or anything you like!! Have fun!! Laugh more and often, it feeds the soul!!

[ Roxy brought her pal Clawdie to her Pulmonary check up so that Clawdie can have a complete rounded health care team! ]

*Aside from stress management, it's imperative to have a good health care team as an asthmatic. Care for asthma is often tricky and ever changing [ for a variety of reasons, changes in the body, environment, diet,etc...], and having a plan mapped out for the detailed care of your asthma [ usually referred to as an Asthma Action Plan] is imperative. Knowing you can rely on your health care team will reduce the stress on you having to maneuver through the maze of asthma by yourself.

[ Clawdia is lucky she has the LivingThruGrace Crew pals to help support her through her Asthma journey ups and downs. Here She and Alex whip up a mug of Matcha Tea full of anti-inflammatory properties for healthy lungs! ]

Having a support system of family or friends, even a co worker or neighbor can also provide you with a sense of comfort, someone to vent or talk to a safety net. If you feel overwhelmed by your emotional state, it's important to seek outside help, ask your health provider about seeking out someone to talk to, or look for a support group in your area or on line. Many social media sites have groups like this for asthma and other health issues, these can be a huge help connecting with others going through similar issues as you.

*Have an Emergency Plan is another factor to ease the stress of an impending attack. Be prepared with a way to get to the nearest hospital, and again if possible having someone you can rely on for help in these situations. Make sure to have programmed into your phone emergency numbers for transport, have all of your medical information handy [ my hubby and I keep our info programmed into our cell phone, this includes, pharmacy numbers, all medicines taking, all medicine we're allergic to, past surgeries, and supplements taking, and all doctors numbers. Believe me when I say medical staff Really appreciate having so much information readily available, and it makes the time to prep you for what's needed all the more faster. if you don't have a cell phone keep a printed sheet or card of this information on you in a wallet or emergency bag].

I personally like to keep a small overnight emergency bag packed in case I'm admitted and require an overnight stay [ story of my 2016 summer! ] My emergency bag contains, change of under clothes, hair wrap, my Own body moisturizer, toothbrush and other personal effects as well as my gameboy ( yep! Old school nerd!} a book [or Kindle], headsets for audio books or podcasts, or anything else I feel will help me to forget that I'm in the hospital :() I will also have my hubby pic me up some fresh juices sometimes available in the hospital depending on which one, or that I've whipped up at home. [we always have either juices or green smoothies on hand] I'm determined to get the healing nutrients into my body especially since it's being plied with strong medications!:{}

Using these tips have been beneficial in helping carry me through some very tough asthma episodes, and along with family support, prayers and leaning deeply into the Lord, because he is the master controller of our destinies! I don't understand why my body is put through this trauma but I believe the Lord's plan is far greater than my need to comprehend the why's. He's concerned with our comfort more than our character! Agggh! :{} Keep these tips in mind and on hand so that you can carry on with you life with a measure of confidence with the factors that you can control. :()

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

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