Your mind controls how you interpret the world. It’s responsible for forming your awareness and perception of events. One of the main things it does here is helping us determine whether we’re safe. By doing so, our personality is shaped concerning stress & anxiety. Your immune system then responds to this information.
What is your immune system?
Your immune system is responsible for protecting you against things like viruses (e.g., COVID). It’s your first line of defense against them. This is why people who have stronger immune systems fare better against viruses than those with weaker immune systems. Here you see why COVID is so dangerous to those who are elderly or immunocompromised. You also see why your immune system plays a crucial role in your health.
How does stress & anxiety affect your immune system?
Stress is one of the key ways in which your mind and your immune system are linked together. Over the past 30 years, there’s been a lot of research showing that while short-term stress may increase your immunity, chronic stress may severely impair how your immune system functions. This is because the hypothallus part of your brain serves as a major communication system between your immune system, endocrine (hormonal) system, and nervous system. So when your body is dealing with stress & anxiety, your hypothallus enters into a fight or flight mode. If it’s only in this state for a little while, you’ll have increased energy and focus. However, once your body is in this state for too long, your hypothallus becomes overwhelmed and eventually depleted. This results in the depletion of your immune system.
How can you strengthen your immunity and well-being?
While everyone deals with stress & anxiety, you can do something to strengthen your immunity and well-being so your hypothallus isn’t depleted.
Get Plenty of Exercises
Stress increases your cortisol (stress hormones) levels. This is why chronic stress is especially harmful. However, exercise can reduce some of this impact. This is especially true of yoga, but any exercise is better than none.
Immunity, brain function, and well-being are all strongly impacted by nutrition. When you eat healthy foods that contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, you help your immune system function more effectively, and you also improve your cognitive functioning. This is why the Mediterranean diet is especially good. Research shows that it not only improves immunity but also reduces inflammation.
Another important way of improving your immunity is by ensuring that you get enough sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your hormone levels rise. This starts after just one night of poor sleep.
Although fresh air doesn’t cure health conditions, it can help reduce stress & anxiety. Research shows that spending time outdoors increases the number of phytoncides that are found within your bloodstream. These small molecules are known for boosting the cells in your body that are responsible for killing foreign invaders like viruses. This is why people who spend time outdoors regularly say they feel less stressed.
Research shows that meditation decreases inflammation and reduces cell aging. It’s important to note that meditation doesn’t mean sitting down and closing your eyes. Meditation is anything that gives you some time to relax enough to be mindful of your body.
There are times when you won’t be able to manage your stress & anxiety without some help. This is why our therapists at TMS Advantage Clearwater in Clearwater, FL are here to help you. We’ll use techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you organize your thoughts and reactions so that your negative thoughts don’t spiral out of control. So, when you’re ready, call and schedule an appointment with us.
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