Increased stress can be a heavy burden on the immune system. Stress lowers the immune system, increases blood pressure, increases cholesterol, disrupts hormones, blood sugar, and disrupts brain chemistry; altering mood and functioning. Stress has also been shown to increase cancerous tumor growth, and reduce the immune system’s ability to fight cancer.
During stressful times, the body produces cortisol, a C-Reactive protein, causing inflammation, which is directly associated with a variety of diseases and illnesses. The holiday season can be a significant burden for many, so it is important to recognize how added holiday stress is affecting your health, and find ways to eliminate and combat it.
A hectic schedule can override daily exercise, proper and adequate sleep, and time for proper nutrition, all of which contribute to overall health, and the immune system’s ability to fight illness.
During chronic stress, the body has slowly become so used to cortisol that it greatly increases the inflammation response, leaving the body predisposed to illness and disease. When you become sick due to chronic stress lowering the immune system’s ability to do its job, it is vital to recognize the stressors, and work to eliminate or reduce them substantially. Continued interaction with stress will only increase the risk of a short term illness becoming much more serious.
During the work week, recognize your personal stressors, and find ways to reduce them. Find time to exercise 20 minutes each day, sleep at least 8 hours each night, and feed your body the high density nutrition it needs to keep you healthy.
The body is only well equipped to handle the stress that comes your way, if you properly prepare it. Reduce your personal stressors, and spend the holidays in good health!
Author and health educator Jenevieve Fisher is committed to making a difference in people’s lives by providing health education, encouragement, and hope. For more information about Jenevieve Fisher, please see her press kit.