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How Stress and the Immune System are linked

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How Stress and the Immune System are linked

Being stressed has a negative impact on our immune systems, it raises cortisol levels and increases inflammation. In order to combat this and destress, try meditating, exercising, sleeping well, disconnecting from your devices, and eating healthily.

 

Stress is a common issue in our daily lives, whether there is a global pandemic or you’re just running a little bit behind, we all experience it in our everyday lives. Stress and overworking can lead to anxiety, which in turn can lead to you feeling rundown and sick. Stress has an effect on your immune system and we’re going to take you through how it can be detrimental and how to fix it. 

focus and concentration

Stress, anxiety, and overworking can lead to high cortisol levels. Cortisol is a pro-inflammatory hormone that disrupts the body’s ability to sleep, its circadian rhythm, the ability to recover, its performance, and it especially disrupts the immune system. Commonly called the stress hormone, cortisol limits functions that would be deemed unnecessary in a fight-or-flight situation. In short spurts, cortisol can increase your immune system’s ability to function. However, over a long period of time, sustained cortisol levels can disrupt all of the body’s systems which can lead to inflammation and suppress the immune response. 

In order to decrease cortisol levels, we need to decrease our stress levels. This can be tricky, but we’re going to give you 5 tips below!

  1. Meditate. It’s been clinically proven that meditation helps to decrease stress levels and reduce inflammation within the body. In a study done by Harvard University, researchers scanned the brain while meditating and found that there were significant changes in the physical state of the brain over the course of two months. These changes suggest that meditation can help with depression.
  2. Exercise. Try taking up yoga, which can be done inside or at a class. Go for a run, or a long walk. It’s been proven that exercising releases endorphins, the happy hormone, and helps to reduce stress levels.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep. High stress levels can have an adverse effect on your ability to sleep easily and deeply. In order to get a better night of sleep, try implementing a sleep oil into your routine. Find an oil that’s rich in terpenes, since they are able to decrease hormones like cortisol and its inflammatory reaction. Frankincense and Cypress have both been found to have rich levels of terpenes, making them especially beneficial for getting a good night of sleep.
  4. Disconnect from your devices. It can be stressful to constantly be reachable. In order to decrease your stress levels, try taking a break from technology, even if it’s just in the evenings or while you exercise. Plus, disconnecting from devices for an hour before bed can help improve your sleep and further decrease your stress levels.
  5. Eat well. There are a number of foods that can help balance cortisol levels and boost the immune system. Dark chocolate, bananas, pears, black or green tea, and probiotics, which can be supplemented or found in foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurts, some cheeses, and kombucha, are all foods that can help balance cortisol levels and subsequently boost the immune system.

Stress is common in our lives, but can be suppressed by taking a few steps to make sure you are as healthy as an ox. By taking care of your mental state, you are able to take care of your physical state and are less likely to get sick.  

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465119/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361287/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180814101418.htm

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322335#natural-ways-to-lower-cortisol

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-happens-when-your-immune-system-gets-stressed-out/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/harvard-researchers-study-how-mindfulness-may-change-the-brain-in-depressed-patients/

 

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