Lauren P. Lyman, MS OTR/L
Stress & the Immune System
Updated: Aug 4, 2020
What exactly is stress, and how does it impact our immune system? What does stress do to our health, and how do we stop it?
Stress can 1. put your immune system in hyperdrive, resulting in inflammation and autoimmune disorders, or 2. weaken your immune system, resulting in viruses. Either way, stress, if not managed, can result in poor health.
It is impossible not to have any stressors in our lives. However, there are things we can do to limit those "bad" physical, chemical, and emotional stressors to improve our short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) health.
The best thing to do is to avoid a bad stressor altogether. Realistic? Sometimes, but not always. If it cannot be eliminated, minimized would be the next best thing. If the stressor cannot be limited, there are ways to counteract stress. Think of it as a balancing scale. One side holds all the things that contribute to your health. The other side holds everything taking away from your health. If you can't remove what is damaging your health, then add some things that will have a positive impact on your health.
How Do I Counteract Stress?
-Reinterpret the situation/stressor.
-Accept a situation/stressor that cannot be changed.
-Journal about your stress.
-Find a constructive purpose for your feelings, and act in a positive way.
-Keep a gratitude journal.
-Perform acts of kindness.
-Use positive distractions to clear your mind, and then go back to the situation.
Stress compounds. Even the smallest stressors can add up to become a massive roadblock to your health. Stress can also domino if not managed. For example, a physical stressor (i.e. injury) can cause an emotional stressor (i.e. depression), which can lead to a chemical stressor (i.e. drugs, alcohol) - one stressor turned into three.
Is this stressing you out? If you need help managing stressors in your life, that is my area of expertise. I can work with you individually through life coaching and/or evaluate your home to help you reduce the stressors in your environment. Let's work together to detoxify your life!
Check out the video for more information and helpful tips, and contact me for any additional services you would like to pursue.
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Have a great day, and be well!