Smile if you have air hunger, POTS or a similar issue!

Woof!

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Hi all!

For every time you longed for a non-drug, no-side-effects, zero-cost way to take back a little more of your life and not pitch forward when you try to stand and not feel starved for life-sustaining oxygen... try smiling. No, I'm not crazy - this really works, and it has significantly helped with my own air hunger and POTS! Let me explain...

Sincere, up-to-your-eyes, laugh-line-creating smiles (grimaces don't count!) do lots of things without you knowing it. :) Smiles relax your muscles (especially the ones in your shoulders and back). :) They increase your happy endorphin levels. :) They drop your blood pressure when it's high. :) And (this is the kicker) they stimulate your diaphragm to take a deep, natural breath. You don't have to (or even want to) think about it. It just happens!

You don't have to be in a particularly good mood, and you don't need to smile at anything in particular - smile at your pillow or at the ceiling if you want to - but your smile must be genuine.

I knew all this from training lots of dogs using well-timed smiles as rewards, so I decided to see if simple smiling would help me address episodes of air hunger and POTS dizziness. The results: genuine, up-to-my-eyes smiles worked so well that my episodes of air hunger and POTS dizziness are all non-starters. I smile every morning as soon as I wake up; I smile (to no one or nothing in particular) whenever I shift position in bed (enjoying the hit of O2 my body receives) and I smile before I attempt to sit up or stand --- no more position-induced dizziness and I get out of bed in a much better mood. Yay!

Smiles are empowering. Give them a try. Even if this doesn't significantly help your air hunger or POTS, it definitely can't hurt your day! :lol::lol::lol:
 

lenora

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Now that sounds like a good fix, Lynne. I agree though, the more we can smile, the better we feel and look. Of course you can turn your charms on to your animals and no, one wouldn't want to do too much smiling in the doctor's office.

I'm a cheerful person by nature because I really do feel better when I smile. I don't know how long it took me to notice this, but it's true. Maybe we even have a twinkle in our eyes. Yours, Lenora.:)
 

Woof!

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Hi all. Suzi Sunshine here again ( :rofl: gotta laugh cuz it's not fun to cry when crap happens) with an additional note to everyone giving what I said a try. I'm not saying "smile and then immediately jump out of bed or up from a sitting position." I don't want to be responsible for any broken noses (and yes, I almost broke my nose once this way)! I'm saying offer the world a few up-to-your-eyes, genuine smiles while you give yourself extra time to rise.

My waking up/getting out of bed routine is 1-2 hours long 6 days a week (a little less on mornings that offer early AM senior shopping at the local store) - lots of time for relaxed stretching and de-stiffening and plenty of empowering smiles. I wouldn't be able to quickly hop out of bed if I tried and, yes, I would likely burn up in any fire because moving fast under pressure just isn't an option - my body would shut down. Nonetheless, smiling is pivotal and I hope you all add it to your wake-up and get-up and rise-up routines. :heart:
 
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Just seeing the 'this patient is unduly cheerful, recommend psych opinion' being written on everyone's notes, and neighbours commenting they must be putting on being sick or they wouldn't be so cheerful. You couldn't make it up, many people can't handle the thought that chronically ill people, even people living with a high level of chronic pain, can actually be well adjusted mentally and coping. Smiling is great advice though! Worth the fall out!
 

sb4

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How are you guys smiling? Mine always feels like a grimice even if I relax my eyes. Feels forced.

Are you thinking of something happy/getting into that mindset or is it more of a muscular thing? Like tensing the same muscles that cause a natural smile.
 

Woof!

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Excellent questions, @sb4, cuz forced smiles aren't helpful.

I can think of three things to try. Let me know how they work for you!
(1) If there is anything particular in your life that you absolutely adore (for example, your dog rolling over with his ears flopped in his face or a bunch of turtles lined up on a log), think of that for a moment with true appreciation.
(2) Think of smiling with your eyes a split second before smiling with the rest of your face. This helps to make it a whole-face smile!
(3) Or you might try putting a touch of mischief into your smile, if that works better for you.

For some, spontaneous self-empowering smiling takes practice before it becomes muscle memory. That's how underrated full-face smiling is! When you find what works for you, remember this isn't something you need to do in the direction of others (if others wonder why you're grinning, it's okay to keep them guessing :D).
 

Booble

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>>> I smile every morning as soon as I wake up; I smile (to no one or nothing in particular) whenever I shift position in bed (enjoying the hit of O2 my body receives) and I smile before I attempt to sit up or stand --- no more position-induced dizziness and I get out of bed in a much better mood. Yay!<<<


I used to also wake up and say to myself, "I feel terrific! It's going to be a great day!"
 

lenora

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I wake up and start with "Good Morning Sunshine" which always brings a smile to my face. Then a prayer. But I find a lot to smile about....and use it. Only problem I can now see: Wrinkles, but I'd rather have them going upright than down, so that doesn't really count.

I wonder if I can still skip....that always made me smile and there was certain song that I sang along with it. I once forgot how to run, that's why I'm questioning skipping. These things we learn when younger are definitely not kid stuff, we need to keep them in our lives.

OK, OK, go to a place where you aren't known if you're going to skip, but you can smile anywhere and don't even need an excuse for it. Just smile! Then throw your head back and laugh. It's all good. Yours, Lenora.
 

Woof!

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neighbours commenting they must be putting on being sick or they wouldn't be so cheerful. You couldn't make it up, many people can't handle the thought that chronically ill people, even people living with a high level of chronic pain, can actually be well adjusted mentally and coping. Smiling is great advice though! Worth the fall out!
There's lots about dealing with recurrent illness that sucks, but the snap judgements of others based upon outward appearance on both 'bad' days and 'good' days is definitely one of the hardest!

@Booble & @lenora - The neat thing about this is when you start to smile to yourself routinely, your smiles don't have to equate to happiness or appreciation or anything really good. They're simply self-empowering smiles, the kind that gives your body a hit of oxygen so you're better prepared for what's to come. Self-empowering smiles come with all the positive effects of happy smiles, too.
 

Woof!

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@Booble & @lenora - I thought of you both the other night when I woke up with another migraine. As I sloooooowly raised up in the dark to take some meds and get a cold pack for my head & a hot pack for my neck, I smiled and thought "...if they could see me smiling now...ow ow ow..."

I can't say smiling helped my migraine, tho' it helped to keep some of the tension in my neck & upper shoulders from progressing out to my arms. It helped me not to pitch over, tho', when I had to get out of bed. :thumbsup:
 

lenora

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Hello @Dr. Lynne....I just spoke with an old "friend" who has another illness that I also have.

She suffered for really severe migraines until menopause....and she said she hasn't had one in over a year. So, I hope that both you and Bobble will have this to look forward to. Not a great way to start a day. Yours, Lenora.
 

Booble

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Hope you are feeling better, Dr. Lynne. Keep on smiling!

(I wasn't smiling yesterday when we realized after two weeks that our veterinarian clinic mistakenly filled our dog's amoxicillin prescription as 100mg instead of 500mg.) :(
 
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How are you guys smiling? Mine always feels like a grimice even if I relax my eyes. Feels forced.

Are you thinking of something happy/getting into that mindset or is it more of a muscular thing? Like tensing the same muscles that cause a natural smile.
It can actually be hard- to keep it up. When I have my grandaughter here, there is lots of genuine smiling. And genuine laughing. And PEM shows up to bite me.

Smile for the camera seems very hard to me. It feels forced.

But we keep at it.
 

Booble

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well. at least it wasn't 50,ooo mgs.....
But poor doggie been suffering with urinary infection for a long time now. Pee-ing all over the house and onto herself. This batch of antibiotics was supposed to UP the dose not cut it down to nothing. We're hoping that she hasn't become resistant to the amoxicillin now that we got on her the right dose. The vet didn't want to switch to a different antibiotic.