How Stress Affects The Immune System & How To Get Rid of it Naturally
Have you noticed that when you’re stressed, you seem to get sick more often? Well, take heart, it’s not your imagination. While not all people respond to a given kind of stress in the same way, studies have clearly shown that stress causes much more than just a passing headache.
According to Dr. Shanna Levine of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, ” when people are stressed, they get sick . . . because the immune system can’t suppress the virus.” But’s that just the beginning.
The harm done by continued uncontrolled stress can be extensive. Sure, modern life is always going to come with an unwelcome serving of stress. But are you ignoring it and toughing it out? Or are you working to either control or mitigate either the stress or your reaction to it?
Here’s a look at what stress is doing to you, and some natural ways of dealing with stress you can start today.
How Stress Affects The Immune System
Of course you know how important balance is to body chemistry. That’s where stress initiates the attack. By releasing excess cortisol and adrenaline, chemical messages are sent to virtually every part of the body. From there, it’s a ripple effect that can lead a minor headache, or ultimately an early death.
What’s even more insidious is that while your body is responding to the chemistry of stress, it’s also – with the help of the brain – trying to normalize it. Meaning, you may think you’re handling ever increasing stress better, but your body is still in full response mode to chemical red alerts that stress cause.
When it comes to the immune system, the results of all that stress show up quickly. Those who are coping with stress are twice as likely to get a cold virus as those who are experiencing less stress. Longer term, stress can cause or contribute to all of the following:
- Headaches, including migraines
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain or loss
- Heart disease and high blood pressure
- Depression and anxiety
So, are you ready to adopt some healthy responses to the stress in your life?
Natural Ways To Handle Stress
Addressing the chemistry imbalances caused by stress is a good place to start. If you want to avoid artificial drugs prescribed primarily to treat symptoms, here’s a couple to consider.
By having a direct impact on CB1 receptors, CBD Oil can affect your serotonin levels – the neurotransmitter that plays a huge role in anxiety and depression. Essentially, it helps the body come down from the high alert level caused by the stress factors.
Both caffeine and stress can both elevate cortisol levels. While caffeine can have a positive affect on anxiety in some people, you’re risking compound results from getting a double shot of the cortisol. Best advice: when you’re in stressful situations, have a cup of chamomile tea. It has known effectiveness at relieving stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
Nix the alcohol.
From the best authority, The National Institute On Alcohol Abuse:
“Instead of “calming your nerves,” long-term, heavy drinking can actually work against you, leading to a host of medical and psychological problems and increasing the risk for alcohol dependence.”
Beyond addressing the chemistry directly, there are other natural ways to respond to stress. Consider adding any of the following to your stress-relief tools:
Virtually any kind of physical activity can help relieve stress. That’s because when you exercise the body produces more endorphins, which send the signal to relax. That also helps you sleep better, which will also contribute to lower stress levels.
Take up yoga or meditation.
If you’ve never tried meditation, you might find it difficult at first. Essentially, you learn to calm the mind, which in turn calms the body. Biofeedback studies have demonstrated that, with practice, you can actually lower your blood pressure through meditation.
Yoga, which is much more physical than meditation, is a great option to learn to calm the mind while getting a good workout. Whichever you are drawn towards, you’ll likely join the ranks of life-long practitioners.