Stress And Immune System – Is There A Connection?
Protecting yourself from illness needs to address both the body and the mind.
Many people search for immune boosters or something to control blood pressure without understanding how much stress plays a role in the problems.
There is a whole field of science that is devoted to your personality and moods and how they affect your immune system. It is called psychoneuroimmunology and it deals with stress and the immune system.
Read on to see how you can develop traits and habits that help you stay healthy.
Immune System And Stress Tips
So many people have chronic stress now days. Chronic stress may be the cause for 60% to 90% of all the Doctors visits here in the U.S.. (1)
Some of us can cope with our stresses and some cannot. Those that are not coping are in a flight or fight response and have developed high stress hormones like cortisol. When stress hormones are high and present too long it can bring about insulin resistance, heart conditions and premature aging among other illnesses.
Here are a few immune system and stress tips to help bring down the stress:
- Take a few deep breaths
- Slow down and do some stretches
- Take some things off your to do list and give yourself more time to get things done.
- Take some time for rest and relaxation.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep refreshes you.
- Walk or Exercise during breaks
Feeling Lonely Affects Your Immune System
Not having others to socialize with, or others to support you in life can also affect your immune system adversely.
Some studies have found that participants who say they were lonely have higher amounts of antibodies.
So it is important to do something about loneliness. Here are some ideas:
- Prioritize and schedule some get togethers with people who are important in your life.
- Make new friends. Try a group that share your interest, such as a gardening club or a club about a certain hobby you enjoy.
- If you work from home, mix it up a bit. Go to your Library or an internet cafe and work some and talk some with others.
Anger And Your Immunity
Anger and hostility according to a Harvard University study found that it can affect lung capacity, decreasing it. This could be because stress hormones would inflame your airways.
Holding your emotions in all the time can lead to problems with mental health, your heart and immunity. So here are some more constructive things to do:
- Count to ten or more, so that you pause before you say something that is hurtful or you will regret. You can always say you will talk about it later and get control of your anger, then talk.
- Let go of resentment. It does not serve you, it sickens you.
- Find things to laugh about internally. Can you see the current situation in a more amusing, rather than annoying manner?
- Start a journal. Write out your feelings, your upsets. End up writing about what you are happy and thankful about for the day. This will leave you on a happier note.
Helping Others and Your Immune System
Helping others causes changes in your brain chemistry and makes you calmer and happier. This strengthens your well being, including your immunity.
So here are some suggestions for helping others:
- Run errands for the elderly or volunteer some time. There are many who could use your help.
- Go to a nursing home and visit someone. In the winter, many there could use an extra sweater or jacket, as they are cold most of the time.
- Tutoring children, if you like to teach.
- Praise someone today. It brightens their day and for most people it raises their self esteem.
Recognize The Mind Body Connection
Stress and the immune system connection is something you may not have considered before.
Use these stress and immune system tips to help you in recognizing the mind body connection. By managing your stress you are likely to lower your risk for serious illness and colds as well as live a longer and happier life.
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