Staying positive and busy are good for my COPD and mental health
Anxiety and depression are common among people with my disease
I’m fortunate to be a glass-half-full person. Since being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), I’ve had to take deliberate actions to keep myself on the positive side of the spectrum. One of the tactics I employ for this purpose is to keep my mind occupied and my body active, all the while pacing myself.
Doing the above can help prevent anxiety and depression, which are common COPD comorbidities. A study seven years ago noted that increased physical activity by COPD patients can reduce the risk of anxiety and depression.
I had other health concerns before COPD came along, but with the other conditions, I was able to take a prescription medication or a supplement or participate in physical therapy sessions to manage them. No similar treatment program has been presented to me for COPD.
Some days, my health situation causes me to be downhearted, but most of the time, I’m much too busy doing upkeep on my home and lawn to dwell on them. My problem is that I no longer have the energy to work on these tasks for the entire day, so I need to keep my mind occupied with other activities, too.
Hobbies like sewing, crocheting, and reading help me pace myself and can be done while sitting down. (I’m not someone who can sit still without doing something.) I’m also looking into a volunteer project called Dogs for People, which our local shelter is sponsoring. This program seems like a good fit for me, because while I probably need more interaction with people who don’t have COPD, I also love animals; they’ll help, as well.
I passionately believe that a positive mental attitude can help you navigate the valleys in life, and I’ve found that staying busy helps me maintain a good attitude — and keep anxiety and depression at bay.
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