Stress is part of life for most people. However, when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)—a chronic lung disease that causes breathing problems—stress can mean the difference between keeping your symptoms under control and experiencing a flare. COPD often causes frequent coughing and wheezing, excess phlegm, and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you’re stressed, these symptoms can get worse and happen more often, says Destry Washburn, D.O., a pulmonologist with Riverside University Health System. “Stress can make you breathe faster, and that can make you feel short of breath,” he says. To read the full story.