If you are asthmatic, reducing anxiety can help you manage the respiratory condition better, a new study has shown.
The study’s findings show that when people with high level of anxiety also have asthma, their symptoms can be far more debilitating and dangerous, because they find it difficult to manage their asthma.
One of the researchers of the study, Alison McLeish, who is an associate professor of psychology at University of Cincinnati in the United States, said anxiety sensitivity not only helps in explaining why higher rates of anxiety disorders have taken place, but also why anxiety is linked with poorer asthma outcomes.
According to the website Medical Xpress , the research included 101 college undergraduates who said they have asthma. The experiment aimed to imitate asthma symptoms by making participants in the study breathe in and out through a very narrow straw, about the width of a coffee stirrer.
The researchers found that people with greater anxiety sensitivity not only reported higher anxiety during the straw-breathing task, but also experienced greater asthma symptoms and decreased lung functionality.
In conclusion, the research recommended interventions for anxiety sensitivity, such as exposure therapy aimed at reducing the anxiety.
The findings will be presented at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) 49th annual convention in Chicago.