Few things illuminate the mind-body connection like stress. It affects everything from our physical immunity to our emotional stability, and is one of the largest proven causes of chronic illnesses including depression, inflammation, heart attacks, autoimmune disorders and certain cancers. Even when we’re taking other measures to live well, if day-to-day stress management isn’t a priority, our health is sure to be compromised.
How we relax and unwind after a long day is integral to our well being, but relieving the burdens of stress is often easier said than done. Elson Haas, MD and Sondra Barrett, PhD authors of Ultimate Immunity, are sharing their professional expertise once again on the link between stress and our bodies’ response to it, and what we can do to keep things in check…
The stress response is a body-mind reaction to perceived danger, whether real or imagined. It uses up our energy, can diminish memory and weaken immune balance. Stress degrades our body’s ability to defend itself by affecting both the immune cells and the cytokines. In some situations, this connection can dim the immune protection response, while in others, it can make immune cells hyper-reactive, especially with inflammation.
The best road to health – immune health and otherwise – is to maintain a more balanced perspective of life by developing systems to manage stress, both before it arrises and once it hits. Our stressful attitudes affect our behavior and our lifestyle choices, usually towards less healthful choices; thus creating more stress. Ask yourself, “What creates the most stress in me?” Then, consider whether that’s a real danger or an imagined one.
There are numerous ways to manage stress. One way is cognitive behavioral conditioning; another is meditation. Let’s now look at some more general lifestyle tips that incorporate stress, nutrition, and other techniques to reduce stress and maintain a healthy immune system…
11 Lifestyle Tips to Reduce Daily Stress:
This is the attitude we want embrace as much and often as possible and there is a vast amount of research to prove it works to relieve stress.
Appreciate your body and your life. When you have an attitude of love for your body and life, you will treat yourself in healthy ways and engage in many of these tips.
Our Diet can stress our body. Nourish your body with vital alive food and take breaks from some of the habits or SNACCS—Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine, and Chemicals—as these can undermine our body and add to stress. We at least want to assess and develop a healthy relationship with these substances.
Every 15 Minutes
Get up and move your body for 15 minutes every hour, especially when working at your computer or other electronic devices. When we are sedentary most of the day, even if we exercise, puts us at risk for obesity and cardiovascular illness. Too much electromagnetic exposure is a stressor and can undermine our vitality and interfere with immune and overall health and vitality.
Dance it out
Any way we can add movement into our day helps relieve stress. Of course, dancing is one form of exercise that engages your whole being, body and mind.
Supportive people are great stress relievers and research with experimental cold infections, people with the most frequent personal connections with five or more folks each week, did not get sick as frequently as those who were more isolated. Generally, those of us with close friends, family, and support do better with their health over time.
Meditate, take time to breathe and connect with your source—whatever religious or spiritual connection you embrace. We all need to know how to relax and quiet our mental activity.
Experience the positive ions and elevate your thoughts and awareness as a reminder of more than our negative thoughts and perceptions. Be with the trees, by the water or wherever you enjoy. Take in the beauty and peace of Nature.
Detox your life
We need vitamins, minerals, good fats and amino acids, and the many phytonutrients from fresh foods, while lessening our toxin intake. Deficiencies can stress our body and weaken immunity, as do toxins that can come from our air, food, water, cosmetics, and household cleaners and can interfere with our cell functions.
Practice Tai chi or QiGong. Both practices have been shown to reduce stress. These types of exercises are valuable for vital aging. For all ages, a good and regular fitness program is both a stress reducer and immune supporter.
Spice Things Up
Spice up your life – use ginger, turmeric, garlic, rosemary for flavor and immune balance, as these spices help cool down hyperactive, inflammatory responses.
Happy energy matters
Smile and send loving smiles to your cells throughout your body (and to other people). Happy cells support healthy activities in our body. Our cells require all the many nutrients needed for the thousands of functions they do daily.