How stress impacts your immunity – and how to chill out!
For most of us, stress is just a part of life. It can last for a few hours — like the time leading up to a final exam — or for years — like when you’re taking care of an ailing loved one.
Stress is sometimes a motivator that helps you rise to the occasion. At other times, it’s simply overwhelming. Whatever the case, if it’s chronic, it can take a toll on your immune system.
With our current situation in the world we are all, whether we know it or not, experiencing rises in stress level, which means higher cortisol levels in our body. For many these days this rise in cortisol is beginning to take a toll.
If we don’t control high stress levels, chronic inflammation can accompany it and can contribute to the development and progression of many diseases of the immune system such as:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Under sustained, long-term stress, you also can develop cardiovascular problems, including a fast heart rate and heart disease, as well as gastric ulcers. You’ll also be at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, various cancers as well as mental decline, lack of focus, depression, and anxiety.
WOW! Sound fun?
Here are a few ways to begin to reduce the stress levels in our bodies.
Being mindful - just being aware and mindful of where we are feeling stress or even that we ARE experiencing tension in our bodies is a start.
Deep breathing. Breath work can lower cortisol levels in an instant. Breath in deeply so you are feeling it all the way into your diaphragm, hold it for a few seconds and blow it out. Some people combine this with mindfulness, thinking of something positive as you are breathing in then while breathing out, think of the stress leaving your body.
Chiropractic care - we do not realize how tension can cause misalignments in our spine which in turn cause impeded nerve flow to our organs, not allowing us to function optimally. Getting a chiropractic check up during times of stress is vital!
Massage Therapy - a great way to release muscle tension and stress! We recommend once a month massages during times of increased stress.
NATURE!! Take a walk in nature breath in the sunshine (vitamin D!) and be mindful of what you see, be fully present to the experience. Lowers cortisol levels and increases vitamin D levels!
Supplements - if you are really struggling with stress and can't seem to get back to yourself, you may want to get a complete nutritional scan. Call our office for a free 15 minute consultation to determine if this should be your next step!