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A few months ago I started having chest pains and shortness of breath. I knew for sure something was wrong with my heart. I went to the doctor and had some testing done. Everything came back normal. They gave me some steroids for “chest wall pain” and sent me on my way. I started to feel better after a couple of days. But then the chest pain and shortness of breath came back. I ended up going back to the doctor and he told me (after getting clear test results again) that it was stress and anxiety. He told me he would right me a prescription to help me out. I basically told him I was just fine and left.
Fast forward to the past month, I finally found a doctor who would listen to me. It turns out I have adult onset asthma. While this is the main reason for my ailments, I do think at times I get anxious and stressed from not breathing well and it makes it worse.
I’ve found several things I can do to help me feel calm and ease my stress and anxiety.
1. Deep breaths
So this one probably sounds silly and cliche, but it really does help! If I start to feel that chest pain creep in, I take slow, deep breaths. I do this 5 to 10 times and almost always feel much better.
2. Read a book (or listen)
Reading a good book or listening to a good book always helps me feel good. I especially love to read self help/motivational books.
3. Self Care
Self care is so important for everyone. I’ve always been one to push myself aside, but the past several months I’ve made it a point to do stuff for myself. It can be little things like reading a book, going out to dinner with friends, taking a nap, doing my nails, putting the kids to bed early and staying up to work on something just for myself. Self care doesn’t have to be spending a day at the spa. Just doing a little something for yourself can work wonders to ease your mind and make you feel refreshed.
4. Go for a walk
When I start feeling stressed out, one of my go to things is to take the kids outside to play or on a walk. Fresh air is so good for my soul. When the walls in this house start closing in, we go straight outside and it turns my whole day around.
I am listing this one last, but it is definitely the most important one for me. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious, just sitting down and praying helps me feel 100% better. There’s nothing like spending a few minutes with Jesus.