Updated: Dec 4, 2019
Q: I feel very stressed this holiday season and I can whenever that happens I seem to always come down with a cold or infection of some kind. Can stress really affect my body like that? –Helen K, Ft. Myers
A: The pace of our lives (especially around the holiday season) makes stress management a necessary skill for most of us. Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you may not realize it. One of the most important precautions you can take to avoid getting sick is to practice your stress management skills. The effects of stress on immune system function and overall level of wellness have been studied and well-documented, and if you're worried about your health, stress levels should be monitored closely! The biggest impact chronic stress has on the body is to weaken the immune system, resulting in increased susceptibility to illness. When faced with a weakened immune system, the body is unable to combat serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
To protect your health, stress should be kept to a minimum. Easier said than done, right?
Here are some basic ways to manage daily stress:
Learn how to say NO to requests that aren’t in line with your priorities. Too many times, we over extend ourselves because we want to help when asked. Unfortunately, we sacrifice our own well being when repeatedly “doing too much”.
Be PROactive, rather than REactive. Identifying “stress triggers” in our lives encourages us to create strategies to make them less problematic.
Get moving. Exercise is meditation in motion. It positively impacts the body’s overall health and sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day!
Don’t worry, be happy. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system resulting in decreased immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release healthy chemicals that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
It is unlikely that stress will ever fully disappear from your life. And stress management isn't an overnight cure. But with practice, you'll learn how to reduce your stress level and increase your ability to cope with life's challenges.
Dr. Misty Green is a local Chiropractor serving the Cape Coral/North Fort Myers, Florida area for over 20 years. She can be reached at (239) 772-5777 to schedule an appointment. Check out our website at AskDrMisty.com for short and sweet video health tips.
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