Stress and Your Immune System

I’m going to keep this short and sweet, but it needs to be said.

When you’re stressed, your body isn’t prioritizing immune health.

When you’re stressed – and this includes physical stress as well as emotional – your body’s main job is prioritizing survival of the stressor. All other functions get altered in order to survive.

Healing can only occur in a parasympathetic state. Learning to manage stress and actively rest, limiting stressful external physical triggers as well as negative self-talk, gives your body a chance to heal…which optimizes immune function.

Some of us are living as if every day we are running from a saber tooth tiger. Your body doesn’t know you’re just stressed from kids’ schedules, relationship conflicts, pandemic fear, work, sleep issues, your dietary restrictions or nutrient deficiencies, and your stressful exercise routine (yeah, that’s a stressor).

If we can’t find balance within the parasympathetic state, our bodies will not get a break and it will not allow for healing or protection from illness. We each have a stress load that is unique to our capability to manage it. Unfortunately, many of us fill that stress load to capacity, without every knowing how or when to slow it down.

Common stressors that may be causing an imbalance in your body:

  • Being too busy
  • Working at a job you hate, for a boss you don’t respect
  • Filling up your family’s schedule with activities, sports, lessons (all good things, but all contribute to that stress load)
  • Being on a diet, than having a free-for-all, then “back on track”
  • Caloric restriction
  • Too much cardio
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Caffeine, sugar, and alcohol
  • Food sensitivities
  • Environmental toxins (household cleaning and beauty products, toxic cookware, mold, air pollution, etc.)
  • Pesticides on food
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Excess use of supplements
  • Prescription or over-the-counter medications

Now, some of those items would be considered good, healthy things…right? But remember, even good things can be stressful to the body if done in combination with other stressors. Your body wants to protect you from that stress load reaching capacity.

If you’re in a state of chronic stress, your health will suffer. If not now, later.

It is so important to take part in behaviors that are stress-relieving, while minimizing the triggers you can.

Rest.

Breathe.

Laugh.

Find joy. 

Slow down and be still.  

Allow your body grace and space to heal.

Reach out if you need support with this. I’m here for you!

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