How stress impacts your immunity and how to chill out

For most of us, stress is just a part of life.

Stress is sometimes a motivator that helps you rise to the occasion. At other times, it’s simply overwhelming. Whatever the case, if it’s chronic, it can take a toll on your immune system.

Chronic stress can produce higher-than-normal levels of the hormone
cortisol. This can hamper the body’s anti-inflammatory response and cause continual infections, according to recent immunology research studies.

Most people don’t realize how much their mental and emotional state affects their immune function.

A person who is stressed may resort to unhealthy behaviors like smoking, drinking, and sometimes drug use, to cope with stress. These activities also compromise the immune system and may cause other health conditions like headaches, infectious illnesses like flu, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, and gastric ulcers.

If you are feeling stressed, here are three things you can do to ease worry and anxiety:

  1. Take a break in watching, listening, or reading the news, including social media. Seeing updates can be upsetting so schedule a limited amount of time for news updates.
  2. Do not be swayed by all the information you see on social media.
  3. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs, as they can lower your immune system’s ability to respond to infection.