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IMMUNITY – Tip #2 – Stress and Immunity

The first solution we usually think of for improving our immune system is food or supplements, and while these are important, our body has an incredible ability to protect and heal. So how do we switch this on? How do we help our body wisdom to defend and mend? The simplest answer – reduce our stress. But if it was so easy, wouldn’t we all be relaxed and stress free?

Let’s understand why stress has such an effect on our immune systems. The hormones that our body produces are to help keep us alive in a stressful situation. These hormones create the fight, flight or freeze response to help us escape a predator. If there is a tiger chasing us, we want every bit of energy in our body to save us, so all other bodily functions very cleverly switch off. The biggest of these is our immune system.

Stress Shuts down your Immune System!

In our modern world, the only predator that is going to eat us is our boss, or our too full week, or our bills that are piling up. So, our stress becomes prolonged, and the hormones continue to rage, creating a completely different set of problems in our body. Our body runs at such a high level of stress and we become addicted to the adrenaline rush. How many of us think we operate better when a deadline is approaching?

Long term stress causes our coping mechanisms to diminish, our creativity becomes limited and we turn to substances such as alcohol, junk food and drugs to wind down. So double whammy, our immune system takes another hit and we become unwell.

The most common ways of decreasing stress are eating nutritious foods, drinking less alcohol, drinking less coffee, stopping smoking, getting more sleep and exercising.

But when you are stressed, your body craves fatty and sugary foods, you think the smoke is giving you a moment of reprieve, you deserve that drink and when you lay down to sleep your mind takes over and you analyse your day. Then you think, I should be sleeping, and you get more stressed because you can’t sleep. Yes, this is great advice but is it helpful when it doesn’t seem achievable.

Successful solutions for stress –

  • Breath. Taking 3 deep belly breaths will settle your nervous system and relax your body. Breathing exercises can trigger your happy hormones.

  • HeartMath™. Coherence is a scientifically proven method that takes as little as 2 minutes to shift you out of a stress response.

  • Meditating for only 10 mins every day will give you a different attitude to life.

  • Mindfulness. The simplicity of being in the moment enables you to see the situation differently and be more solutions oriented.

  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is simple to learn and can give you relief from stress anywhere and anytime.

  • Journaling activates a part of your brain that allows the stress hormones to release, and by consciously following a journaling formula, can encourage the body into a relaxation response.

  • An attitude of gratitude can alter your outlook on life.

All of these solutions will decrease both your day to day stress and give you the ability to cope with an enormous stressful event much more easily.

Please let me know if you would like more information on the Successful Solutions for Stress course.

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