Moving Forward With COPD
What do you love doing that makes you forget about your illness? Do you have feelings of, “I can’t do this, because of anxiety?” Can you anticipate what you must do next while ridding yourself of anxiety? Your key could be planning and asking yourself how it will be done and what it looks like?
Being in the middle of a pandemic is tricky for those of us with COPD because it causes us to be in a trauma state. Since this virus attacks the lungs, we should all be using caution about going out into the big wide world. However, wearing a mask while out of our homes can cause some stress with our already poor breathing. Most of us find it easier to just stay home, but should we?
Merchants have made it easier for us to stay put. Groceries, like in the olden days, are being delivered again. Shopping online has increased exponentially and not only for essential goods but for all goods. Is it easier to stay home, or is it anxiety that is taking hold?
- Take small steps. One day, one step at a time helps us to move forward. We can’t do it all in one day.
- Make plans and anticipate what it will look like helps us to be successful.
- Always evaluate the risk and the benefits of leaving your domain.
Stop these things
Stop the “I should talk” and stop listening to others. They have no idea how you feel or how hard it is for you. Turn off the evening news. Be positive and use positive self-talk. There is no room for negativity if you want to move forward. Anxiety and stress are the worst part of COPD because it leaves us breathless with a pounding heart but if we don’t control it and allow it to take hold, it will rule our lives.
When anxiety dominates your thoughts, it acts as if it belongs there, but it doesn’t. Anxiety is a dream killer if we allow it to be. Take back your dreams by interrupting anxiety with your own thoughts and possibilities. To help alleviate your anxiety, get a pencil and a piece of paper or if you have a journal, write in it your real-life situations. Make 2 columns, one for over-the-top scenarios and one for what can really happen.
Column 1 (over-the-top answers):
- I could return to a world of Zombies.
- I could be the only person on the planet.
Column 2 (real possibilities):
- I could have a lovely day, without anxiety because I planned it that way.
- I could enjoy the day with friends and make new friends.
Paint a picture of what it looks like in your mind and follow through with those positive thoughts.
Once you practice keeping anxiety at bay and make it a daily exercise you will be in a better place to take control of anxiety. By anticipating what to do and how to handle the next episode of anxiety it becomes more familiar and easier to manage. You are now on the verge of becoming the master of your own destiny. How good does that feel?
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