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Stop Stressing! It Affects Our Immune Systems

So the world has gone mad … panic buying ….no clear leadership as what to do – especially for those with underlying health conditions and more vunerable members of our society. More stress and worry, maybe changes in circumstances – working from home, an underlying health condition, aged parents or grandparents. The weekly shop has become a nightmare, more stress and worry for everyone. Will they close schools? How will that work with your job?

The current situation is also causing more stress and worries for children and teens who are reportedly are suffering eco-anxiety about climate change according to a recent study with 1 in 5 children and teens aged 8 to 16 are suffering sleep issues. That is on top of other worries they may have about starting a new school, sitting examinations that might not even go ahead, in addition to any other major trauma or change in their lives.

Did you know stress, anxiety and fear have an effect on your immune system? When you are in a stressed state, your body automatically goes into the fight, flight or freeze mode, this puts your body into a state of high alert. Many things in your body shut down in preparation to either physically fight or run, in extreme reactions you feel overwhelmed and unable to do anything. It does not matter that there is not a physical danger – if you are worried or anxious about a situation or fearful of something that may happen your body perceives them as a threat, even if you imagine it – it is your body's automatic response that has served us well for many thousands of years and hunter gathers. The issue is that now our bodies are often in a prolonged state of stress. Many studies have been carried out in this area and have shown that stress, fear and anxiety do have an effect on your bodies ability to protect itself and also that stress anxiety and fear worsen health issues such as :

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Pain of any kind

  • Sleep problems

  • Autoimmune diseases

  • Digestive problems

  • Skin conditions, such as eczema

  • Heart disease

  • Weight problems

  • Reproductive issues

  • Thinking and memory problems

How you cope with stress can also contribute to depressing your immune system. Think about how you cope with stress – do you reach for the cigarettes , drink alcohol , eat lots of chocolate or unhealthy snacks? Do you eat more and in a less than healthy way? These stress relief habits can also supress your immune system. Everyone reacts differently to different sitiuations and what may stress one person out does not stress another. This is because our bodies react to what we believe is a danger to us so we would all experience different levels of stress to the same situation. This is because we all have different beliefs about ourselves and the world, these beliefs are made often when we are very young before the age of 7.

What can I do ?

Well yesterday I was reminded in a post from my Lovely Reiki Master Anne Jepson about the 5 principles of Reiki. Not only are they good principles to live by in general, but they also are about taking one day at a time and in these turbulent times that seems like a sensible way forward.

  • Just for today do not worry.

  • Just for today do not anger.

  • Just for today be grateful.

  • Just for today work diligently.

  • Just for today be kind to others.

When we think positive thoughts, are grateful, do a good job and are kind to others, we release chemicals in our brains that have a positive effect on our immune system.

If we worry or get angry our body goes into the fight or flight response automatically, which supresses our immune system.

Reflecting upon these principles and striving to live within their framework is certain to effect positive change in all areas of your life.

Stress can creep up on you and start to cause health issues if you are stressed and anxious for too long.

If you are concerned about how stress maybe affecting you please book a free no obligation discovery call to find out how I can help you your child or your teen. I offer an online service if you would rather not meet in person.

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