Stress Harms Your Immune System - Avoid At Your Peril!
Life Stress Is A Factor We All Encounter - Reduce It & Boost Your Immune System
Stress is something we all face in our lives, whether we think we are the most laid back of people or not? There probably hasn't been a more important time to manage our stress levels that you place, not just yourself, but the impact your stress has on those you love and care for the most, or even as you impose it on those you manage under your duty of care in business. It's definition according to Medicine.net is as follows: "Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure)". So what does that mean to you and how can it become detrimental to your health when left unchecked or when levels of stress become accepted as normal over time and how does this impact on the ability of your immune system to carry out it's function optimally. Your bodys natural defence against the pathogens (bacteria, viruses or other microorganism) that can cause disease, is your immune system and it's here that your body could be paying the price for you not dealing with or putting in place mechanisms to cope with stress. The ability to fend off illness and disease depends on several factors, some of which maybe beyond our control but the way we react to stress and the general health of our immune system are things we can influence. If we’re not able to change our response to stressors, we’ll find ourselves in a constant hormonal battle that will leave us open to a greater attack from such pathogens and now couldn't be a more important time. The brain and the immune system are in constant communication in this delicate balance, that can be disrupted by any kind of stress we experience and hold onto. Let's jump straight in and discover how this works: Let's take the current situation we are all experiencing, the Coronavirus outbreak that is effecting the whole world; this falls into all 3 of the external stress factors......environment / psychological / social. As we digest more news, more media, more individual opinions about what the effects are likely to be, we cannot help becoming effected by such a vast amount of information flooding our systems; being concerned for friends, family and loved ones and how our careers or businesses might be effected as a result. The glands responsible for stress production do not have an off switch, so once it's triggered, you must create an opposing action to stop it! The results of External Stress are that your body produces two main hormones groups; corticosterone and catecholamines (examples of these are cortisol & adrenaline), which are released into the blood stream and it's function is to ready your body to run away from danger. The human body and it's extremely effective system of hormone production is millions of years old and cannot differentiate between physical and psychological danger, and the response is the same; it pumps out these two groups of hormones into your system for you to be able to run away from what was back then, real DANGER, such as a Sabre Toothed Tiger. Now the majority of our stress comes from psychological stress (external) and if we don't use these hormones effectively they will impact heavily on our immune system; hence why exercise is such a great antidote to stress! So How Does This Impact My Immune System?
Stress hormones have a huge negative impact of your immune systems function at is very core and reduces the production of lymphocytes, the building blocks for fighting infection and may lead to initial symptoms which can include: - Cold Cores - Headaches - Loss of sexual desire - Common colds - Insomnia - Digestive Problems - Heart Palpitations However when these warnings signs are ignored or you don't experience any of the above, you may feel ok with your levels of stress. The hidden danger is that your immune system isn't fully armed to deal with those external threats, the one that is out there at the moment is the COV-19. Is your immune system ready and prepared to fight with fire if this invader comes knocking? Ways In Which You Can Reduce Stress - Some In Seconds 1. Adopt A Power Pose: This has been shown to stop the production of Cortisol immediately; you basically hold a Wonder Woman pose for 10 - 15 seconds with a big grin on your face....yes I know it sounds daft but it really does work. Something I posted about on LI back in November. 2. Reduce The Time You're Listening To The News: This is a time when you can be drawn to listening to every news feed and channel out there. My fiancé watched the news yesterday before going to bed, she woke up feel anxious and even more stressed than she was before. What do we believe, what is truth, what is hearsay; is it really helping or hindering our mental & physical health? What do we know for sure and what are the experts saying in your country. Stick to the facts 3. Create Time For Calmness: At least once during the day, preferably before heading off to sleep, spend 15 - 20 minutes in calmness, no tv, social media, dim the lights and maybe listen to soothing music and focus solely on your breath in and out. This will reduce the stress hormone production process and allow restful and refreshing sleep. 4. Use This Time To Slow The Pace Down & Focus On You: This is an ideal time to slow the pace of life, engage with family and focus on your health and well-being both to remain healthy and to prepare yourself better for the future and returning to the demands of life. I have spoken to many people who are doing this very thing and it's so liberating that so many are seeing the silver lining in this current cloud of uncertainty. While the rest of the world is stockpiling ready meals, sugary cereals, alcohol (coping mechanism) and toilet roll, you can be boosting your immune system, exercising at home, detoxifying your system and turning back the clock on your health. That feeling of being more energised and more positive in the face of adversity is amazing amongst this kaos. If you would like to know how you can do this very thing , during this crazy time and come out of it fitter, stronger, leaner and calmer then let's have a safe and secure virtual chat and we can put a plan together for you in 30 minutes.
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