How damaging is the effect of stress on immune system functions? Read on to discover the truth behind stress and what you can do to reduce stress in your life.
There aren’t a lot of things we can count on in life, but the possibility that we will experience some form of stress throughout our lives is a given. In fact, 75 percent of Americans report feeling stressed at least one time in a month. Stress is normal, but it can also have a negative impact on your health.
Not sure how stress can impact your overall health? Read on to learn about the effect of stress on the immune system and some strategies for dealing with it.
The Effect of Stress on the Immune System
The first thing you should know is that there are two types of stress: short term stress and chronic stress. Chronic stress is the type of stress that health experts are concerned about.
How does stress affect the immune system?
Chronic stress causes a prolonged release of the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol will begin to suppress your body’s immune system. Stress may also cause white blood cells to be less able to fight infections in the body.
It can also cause inflammation in your body which can lead to health conditions like obesity and heart disease.
Short term stress may actually be protective because it helps you get out of life-threatening situations. Like all forms of stress, you should manage it in a healthy way.
Get Out and Get Active
One of the best ways to manage stress is to get out and get some form of exercise on a regular basis. Exercise has a wealth of benefits for you apart from keeping the pounds off.
First, exercise boosts endorphins in your body. Endorphins are neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel good and happy.
Have you ever noticed how good you felt after a really good workout? That’s endorphins at work!
When you’re exercising, you’re also moving your focus from your source of stress to the movements your body is making. This helps you learn how to spend less time worrying about life and more time focusing on your happiness and health!
Get More Sleep
Did you know that missing out on your sleep can make you even more stressed?
Most people need about seven to eight hours of sleep per night in order to function. Even a slight decline in your sleeping time can exacerbate stress and the health problems that come with it.
Make it a point to get eight hours of sleep each and every night so you are better equipped to handle stress.
Having something to lean on when you’re stressed can have a major impact on your stress levels. For some people, this can mean going to church or participating in Kundalini Awakening. For others, it’s simply taking some time to clear their minds with meditation or yoga.
Connecting to something larger than ourselves, whether it’s God or the universe, does wonder for managing stress.
Yes, You Can Conquer Stress!
Stress and the immune system are connected. The effect of stress on the immune system is easy to see, it’s making Americans sick. While we do everything we can to avoid stress, sometimes there’s nothing we can do to prevent it.
Remember to take some time for yourself when you’re stressed — get some exercise and don’t be afraid to turn to someone for support.
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