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Asthma Health Center

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Stress and Asthma

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How to Manage Stress With Asthma continued...

Reduce Your Stressors. Identify the major stressors in your life such as money problems, relationship problems, grief, too many deadlines, and lack of support. If you can't resolve these stressors alone, get professional help.

Avoid Stressful Situations. Try to avoid situations that trigger stress for you. Practice effective time-management skills, such as delegating when appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and taking time out for yourself.

Exercise Daily. Get some exercise. Exercising with asthma is an excellent way to burn off the accumulated effects of stress and also keep your body healthy.

Get Plenty of Sleep. With asthma or any chronic illness, you need plenty of sleep. If you are not sleeping well or suffer with nighttime asthma, you will have less energy and fewer resources for coping with stress. Developing good sleep habits is very important. Here are seven sleep tips:

  1. Do not go to bed until you are tired.
  2. Develop specific bedtime rituals and stick to them.
  3. If you have trouble sleeping, do not watch TV, read, or eat in bed.
  4. Do not engage in exercise or strenuous activity in the hours before bedtime.
  5. Avoid caffeine.
  6. Do not nap.
  7. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including on weekends.

Eat a Healthy Diet. Junk food and refined sugars low in nutritional value and high in calories can leave you feeling out of energy and sluggish. Limiting sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can promote health and reduce stress.

Delegate Responsibility. Stress often results from having too many responsibilities. You can free up time and decrease stress by delegating responsibilities. Take a team approach and involve everyone in sharing the load. Try applying these eight guidelines at home or modifying them to fit your situation at work:

  1. Make a list of the types of tasks involved in the job.
  2. Take time to train someone to do the job or specific tasks.
  3. Assign responsibility to a specific person.
  4. Rotate unpleasant duties.
  5. Give clear, specific instructions with deadlines.
  6. Be appreciative; let people know you are pleased by a job well done.
  7. Allow others to do a job their own way.
  8. Give up being a perfectionist.

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