Listen to “How Stress Weakens the Immune System and How You Can Reduce Its Effects”.
Many people don’t realise that their immune system is very closely linked to their stress levels. However, emerging evidence is tracing the pathways of the mind-body interaction.
The immune system is the body’s defence mechanism for keeping us protected and safe from the bacteria, germs, and viruses we inadvertently ingest. Good health is dependent on the immune system’s proper functioning, and like so many other systems in the body, it is prone to the adverse effects of stress.
Whilst stress alone cannot make us catch colds, the flu, or other viruses; it does weaken our immune system’s ability to respond to invaders, leaving us more vulnerable to infection. Recovery is also likely to be slower since the immune system is suppressed in favour of dealing with our stress.
Stress also has more indirect effects on the immune system. We tend to resort to unhealthy coping strategies, such as smoking, drinking too much caffeine and alcohol, eating too much sugar and processed foods, not sleeping properly, and giving up on exercise and healthy social activities.
Our immune systems’ health is significantly impacted by our emotional state, stress levels, lifestyles, dietary habits, and nutritional status, meaning support in all these areas needs to be considered.
Mood and attitude have a tremendous impact on our immune systems. When we are happy and optimistic, our immune systems function well. When we are negative and low in mood, our immune functions tend to decrease.
A lot is going on in the world at the minute, and it’s not easy to keep calm and carry on. Besides increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress also decreases your cognitive performance.
Keeping calm is the best way to prevent stress and requires having peace of mind despite the chaos around you and not allowing your environment to affect your cortisol levels.
Here are 6 simple things you can do to keep calm and carry on:
1. Learn to let go of things you can’t control
We often stress about things we’ve done in the past or about the outcomes of things we can’t control. Instead of worrying, practice letting go and learn to recognise the situations you can do something about and the ones you can’t.
2. Take a break from the news.
The 24-hour news cycle can cause your anxiety to spike. Therefore, you should limit how much news you watch.
Stick to relevant news and what’s happening in your community and try to reduce your news intake to a maximum of 30-60 minutes a day.
3.Stop Negative Self-Talk
A big step towards managing stress involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you think negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts.
4. Get out in nature
Getting out of the house and back into nature is more important than many people realise. Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory, and makes you feel happier.
You don’t have to go far for it to have a positive impact. Walk around, sit in the park and read, or go for a leisurely bike ride. Just being outdoors will reduce your stress and make you feel much healthier and happier.
Finding ways to stay active is essential, both for your physical and mental well being. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day will help lift your mood by releasing endorphins, as well as reducing feelings of tension.
The main aim is to get your blood circulating and give yourself an energy boost.
6. Try sound meditations
Try a meditation app to keep your stress under control.
Once you unplug from the news for a bit, why not try the DeepH App Healing or Stress Reduction Meditation to help you let go of anticipatory anxiety? The app is specifically designed to help you on your journey to becoming happier and healthier.