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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

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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