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9 Things To Remember If You Love Someone With Asthma

9 Things To Remember If You Love Someone With Asthma

Does one of your friends or loved ones have asthma?  This can be a difficult condition to live with — both for the asthmatics and those who care about them. Read on to find out more about things you should remember if you love someone with this chronic condition.

They Can Be Embarrassed by their Condition

Most people with asthma have stories to tell about having an asthma attack at work or school or other public place.  These attacks are obvious and it can be very embarrassing for them when people stop and stare or stand around and don’t know what to do.  They also get frustrated if an attack happens at a very awkward moment, such as in the middle of a business meeting or their child’s recital at school.

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They Cannot Travel Light

People with asthma have a lot to remember before they leave the house in the morning — let alone going on a vacation or weekend jaunt.  Pill packs with asthma medications, inhalers and nebulizers all take up a lot of space and even an simple overnight trip can require a lot of planning.

They Usually Need to Go to the Doctor a Lot

Between flu shots, allergies shots and general check-ups, people with asthma can find themselves sitting in the waiting room of a clinic a lot more than the average person.  This can be frustrating — and can also cause problems at work about having to take time off for medical care if the boss is less than understanding.

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They Hate the Winter

It’s hard to going walking in a winter wonderland when the first breath of cold air sends your respiratory system into spasms. Even when they wrap up with a scarf over their mouths and noses, it can still be difficult just to get from the house to the car during the worse of the year’s cold weather.

They Also Hate Cold and Flu Season

For most people, getting a cold or the flu is a pain in the neck, but it is not something that they take very seriously.  For someone with asthma, however, these minor respiratory infections can turn quickly into something major and can take weeks to recover from – or even mean a stay at the hospital.

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They Want to Remind You to Watch What You Wear

When you live with or just hang out with someone who has asthma, be careful of what you wear in regards to personal care products.  That new mango-peach-vanilla lotion might smell great to you, but it can set off a potentially serious asthma attack. So be careful of things like perfume, hair sprays and deodorants, as these can all be a problem for asthmatics to be around.

They Are Not Sickly or Nerdy!

How many TV shows have portrayed people with asthma as either invalids or geeks sporting prominent pocket protectors?  The truth is that asthmatics are neither sickly nor nerdy — and are healthy apart from their respiratory condition.

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They Can Exercise

Many people assume that just because someone has asthma that they won’t be able to be active. As a matter of fact, though, exercise and activity are important parts of asthma treatment.  Many asthmatics have actually gone on to careers as professional athletes. They just have to be more careful, often treating themselves before practice and allowing for a warm-up and cool down.

They Have to Think About Breathing

This one might sound strange, because most people breathe without ever thinking about it — it just happens naturally. Asthmatics, on the other hand, have to be continually aware of their breathing and often have to monitor themselves in order to pick up on the signs of an oncoming flare-up.

In short, asthma presents some unique challenges to those who have it. However, it is good to remember that if you do love someone with asthma, they are also more than just their condition and that they can lead full and happy lives and pursue the same interests as everybody else.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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