Stress and Immunity pt.1 – How Stress can cause disruptions in your overall health

Stress And Immunity

Greetings people of Balance. With the health crisis we all currently face, we want to share a little insight on the topic of stress and immunity. Right now, we are seeing a massive increase in stress due to the current events involving COVID-19.

Stress itself can be divided into 3 main forms:

  • Thoughts: or emotional stress
  • Toxins: or chemical stress like processed foods, medication, and the environment
  • Trauma: or physical stress. For example injuries like concussions, slip ‘n falls, and car accidents.

In this first blog in our three-part series, we will focus on just one out of the three different forms of stress – THOUGHTS, or emotional stress.

Due to the current pandemic, emotional stress like fear, anxiety, and panic is at an all-time high. The changes in the economy due to the virus are affecting our families, businesses, income, and access to resources. The fear of the possible dangers of the virus for an elderly or compromised member of your family only adds weight to the emotional stress we have all been in for many months. Because of the uncertainty surrounding all of this, it is easy to fall into a constant feeling of stress and overwhelm. However, it’s important to realize what chronic mental stress does to your body’s entire physiology.

Emotional Stress Can Weaken Your Immune System

Stress affects the body differently according to the time, intensity, and variations of the stress introduced to the body. Short-term stress like being scared momentarily or going for a run affects the body’s physiology far differently than long-term or prolonged stress we’re seeing due to the virus

What many of us don’t realize about the relationship between stress and immunity is that the human body’s chemistry and cellular make-up LITERALLY changes from prolonged mental stress no different than it changes when we have an injury that leads to chronic pain. Living in constant stress and fear actually stimulates a biochemical change in your nervous system that ramps up the number of inflammatory cells and stress hormones in the body.

When inflammation is not regulated in the body long term, it leaves you more susceptible for invaders like a virus to infiltrate and create more harm in the body.

In other words, living day to day in fear WILL change the normal balance of hormones and cellular functions which will continuously lower the ability of your natural immune system (innate and adaptive immunity) to be able to defend and protect your health.

Dr. Bruce Lipton says “Thoughts Become Chemistry”.

You literally are what you think…

The most important key to take away regarding mindset during these times is to NOT BE HELD DOWN BY WHAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL.

Focus On What You Can Control To Improve Stress And Immunity

Instead of focusing your energy on the things you can’t control, redirect your energy to what you can control. That can start with simply shifting your mindset from fear and panic to gratitude, love, and peace. Among all the commotion and scarcity at the moment, many of us still have our families alive and well, we still have a roof over our head, and we still have access to food and water. Take time each day to take a few deep, long breathes and focus your thoughts on the positive things still available in our lives.

Keep calm and realize this time will pass soon. A global pandemic is something we cannot control, but our thoughts, emotions, and reaction to it is something we certainly can. By redirecting our mental focus from stress to emotions like gratitude and positivity – you can literally change your body’s chemical make-up to help amplify and optimize your immune system during a time when it needs it most. Stress and immunity are related.

Remember; don’t be held down by what you can’t control. Chronic mental stress lowers the capacity of your immune system.

Take some deep abdominal breaths throughout the day, practice some meditation, and focus on what you’re grateful for and your immune system will thank you for it.

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