Emotions and Asthma
You respond to different situations with your emotions. Emotions are experiences that are feelings like fear, happiness, and sadness that you experience daily. Have you noticed that certain situations make you feel a specific emotion? Are your reactions different from others’? Some people experience more frequent or intense other than other people. If you do, you are not dramatic or sensitive. Your past experiences influence your responses.
Some people experience stronger or heightened emotional responses. These types of responses can affect your mental and physical health. But did you also know that for some people, heightened emotional responses trigger asthma? These are the two emotions that also asthma triggers.
Stress is one of the most common emotions humans experience. On some level, we all experience stress. Some people stress about work and money, while others stress about loss. We need a healthy balance of good and bad stress.
If you have asthma, you need to be mindful of your emotions and exposure to negative stress. This kind of stress affects not only your mental health but also your asthma. Have you noticed that your asthma is worse when you are stressed? It is no coincidence; stress is the cause.
Stress Triggers Asthma
Homeostasis is what keeps your bodily functions stable and in balance. However, stress disrupts this balance and causes inflammation in your body. Occasional stress is not bad for your asthma, but chronic stress is. Frequent exposure to stress makes your body produce inflammatory responses that cause airway inflammation and obstruction.
Manage Your Stress
Managing your stress levels is crucial for controlling your asthma and having good mental health. Try one or more of these techniques to minimize your stress. Seek help from a licensed professional if your mental health does not improve, becomes chronic, or if it negatively affects your quality of life.
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and yoga.
- Exercise regularly
- Get proper rest, nutrition, and hydration
- Avoid situations or people that cause negative stress.
Everyone experiences stress, but not everyone has anxiety. Anxiety is a stress response that does not match the intensity of the stressor. People with anxiety experience extreme or negative emotions, such as tension, dread, and fear. Anxiety causes mental experiences and can also manifest physically in people. For instance, it can cause sweating, restlessness, muscle tension, and even increase your heart rate.
Asthma and Anxiety
There is a causal relationship 1 between anxiety and asthma. Anxiety causes physical manifestations that can put you at risk for asthma exacerbations. Also, asthma can be an unpredictable condition. The threat of being exposed to asthma triggers and sudden changes in breathing can contribute to your anxious feelings. Seek professional help if you feel your anxiety is uncontrolled or if you experience frequent asthma episodes as a result.
Manage Your Anxiety
- Cognitive or behavioral therapy to address the cause(s) of your anxiety
- Use medications to reduce anxiety
- Practice anxiety-reducing techniques, like relaxation and gradual exposure to things that increase anxiety
- Create an asthma action plan.