Stress and Immunity
I am back to my blog after a week or two of struggles with....LIFE and its ups and downs! I wanted to write about the strong effect that stress plays on our health and well being IF we let it. You see, I have always had a very strong belief that I should NOT ever be sick…! I mean, come on- I advocate, promote and represent ALL things healthy-right? Hmmmm….! Guess what guys----STRESS in THE bullet that will always penetrate my otherwise super healthy lifestyle. I am not immune to the danger of letting stress creep into my world. I am not saying my life is unbearable due to chronic stress....Actually, my life is absolutely amazing and I am grateful for every minute that I am blessed to live it....!
However and without going into great detail, I can summarize to say that in two weeks I have experienced more than my normal share of excitement. Just to mention the highlights; a car accident, a health concern/testing of THE most important person in my world, “on-going” conflict of someone in my life that involves my children, a MAJOR purchase (while the land is a dream coming true-it is still a large financial commitment while maintaining a mortgage), both children sick two days from school with an upper respiratory infection (momma nurse to the rescue)…..and finally a heartbreak for my dear friend being in a serious accident with spinal cord injuries so severe he will never walk again. Combine these events with a few nights of poor sleep and a major pollen bloom in the Houston area( did I mention we began clearing trees on the property, achoo!)and…..I fell victim to a full blown sinus/bronchial infection with fever, chills and sinus headache that rivals a hammer to the skull. I have not felt this bad in at least 10 years. I did everything from Neti Pot, Vitamin C, Probiotic Cultures, Vitamin D3, Oreganol, Olive Leaf Extract…….basically everything including a VERY interesting Homemade soup of organic free range chicken broth and enough garlic, onion, turmeric and ginger to “KILL me or HEAL me”-haha!
I finally made my world slow down cleared my schedule and RESTED on Tuesday. Maybe it was more my body forced me to do this----I got up to eat a few times that was all I could accomplish. The AMAZING benefit of rest and I was actually able to function yesterday and got a few errands accomplished (Thanks for the rental car Progressive), kids picked up, activities scheduled. Today, I feel better except inner ear congestion is making me feel like I am in a FUN house at a carnival and I sound like Froggy from the Little Rascals (yes, I am old enough to remember that show, haha!)
During the week…I continually whined “why me…I am healthy (cough*, cough*-achoo!)I am not “supposed” to get sick. Well, if you take all the factors of the previous 2 weeks-then YES, my body reacted exactly the way the human body and its intricate immune system is supposed to. Stress has proven to have an extreme effect on the endocrine system. Very simply put, Internal factors when triggered by stress have been implicated in causing a decreased immune response because of the nature of the body's reaction in dealing with this problem. The capabilities of the immune system are diminished after frequent activation of the autonomic nervous system in the case of chronic stresses. The immune system is downgraded to be able to continuously maintain all of its functions. Stress can affect you in many ways. People often notice the emotional effects of stress, but aren't always aware of all of the ways stress can have a physical impact. I encourage you to learn more about the effects of stress, and how to safeguard your health and happiness. So, here is a reminder for each of you to take time to look at the stressors in your world and find ways to manage them and protect your health. There are many ways to keep your immunity strong. Here are a few prevention techniques that I wanted to reiterate.
Weakened Immune System - Chronic stress can raise cortisol levels and weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to colds and the flu, as well as more serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.
Unhealthy Choices - When we’re under stress, health may suffer because we don’t always make other healthy lifestyle choices like getting enough sleep, exercise and healthy food in our diet, which also makes us more likely to become ill.
Steps Toward Wellness
To protect your health, stress should be kept to a minimum and other precautions should also be taken. To increase your odds of wellness, especially during flu season, here are some important steps you can take:
Practice Stress Management Techniques. Certain techniques, like journaling, yoga and even laughter have all been found to increase immunity. By practicing stress-reducing activities, you can keep your body from going into chronic stress mode, maintaining increased health and wellness.
Take Care of Your Body. Eat a healthy healthy diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly to keep your body running smoothly. Taking better care of your body will keep it functioning properly and increase your ability to fight off the latest bug that’s being passed around. And, if you do get sick, a generally healthy body can bounce back from illness much more quickly so you’ll be less miserable while you’re ill, and heal sooner.
Maintain a Supportive Network. Social support boosts immunity and helps you manage stress in your life, both of which will keep you healthier. By keeping several healthy relationships in your life, you’ll have friends to help you through the difficult times and increase your enjoyment of the good times, helping everyone stay healthy and enjoy life more.
Stay Organized and Maintain Balance in Your Life. Keep your home uncluttered. Become proficient at saying no to requests that are not in line with your priorities. Staying organized and balanced will help you keep from overtaxing yourself, and can help reduce the level of stress you experience in your life, helping you stay healthier in the long run.
Practical Tips To Remember
As always, don’t forget to take the commonsense health precautions that mom and the doc have been telling you for years:
Wash Your Hands Do it frequently, and especially before meals. This will keep germs from being passed to your face, so your immune system won’t even have to worry about fighting them.
Take Vitamin C and Drink Plenty of Water. The vitamin C can strengthen your immune system and the water can help flush out toxins. This increases proper functioning of your immune system and helps you fight disease more easily.
Avoid People Who Are Sick. If members of your family are ill, in addition to washing your hands and avoiding direct contact, it’s a good idea to use a safe vinegar and tea tree oil solution to on all door handles, light switches, phones and other areas of the house that are touched often and may contain germs.
A little prevention can go a long way in keeping you healthy. While I can’t promise that you’ll never be sick again, following these wellness suggestions for living a low-stress, healthy lifestyle can have a very positive impact on your health and wellness levels. I am going to do some light reading, rest and reflection now so that I am well for my upcoming Healthy Living Houston tour this Saturday…..now for a Green Juice, Vitamin C, Oreganol and my Neti Treatment. Take Care!
- Queen Bee Wellness
- Three Goats Farm of Montgomery, Texas
- Melissa is a former beauty queen, personal trainer and certified holistic health coach. Melissa founded Queen Bee Wellness to specialize her coaching practice towards Women's Wellness and Beauty. She helps women focus on finding their own natural beauty from a integrative approach of balancing Mind, Body and Soul. Melissa believes that what we put in our mind is just as important as the nourishing food we put in our bodies and products on our skin. She strives to coach women to balance a healthier body image, approach to wellness and authentic living. With her passion for a clean lifestyle, Queen Bee Wellness therapeutic skin care products were born- to help women enhance their natural glow, without causing harm to their health from chemical laden toxic products. Melissa's philosophy to real beauty is summarized in "Wellness is Beauty". Melissa resides on a 10 acre farm in Montgomery, Texas with her husband and teen aged children. In her spare time she is chief goat wrangler and milker of her "Queen Bee" herd of dairy goats at Three Goats Farm.