Modern society has put many of us in a state of chronic stress. Stress is a natural response that your body has to challenges and threats. It causes physiological changes in the body, such as:
- Heart rate increases
- Blood pressure rises
- Senses become more acute
- Sweating may increase
- Muscle tension increases
- Digestion slows
These effects are meant to be short term and last only as long as the “danger” or challenge. The problem is that a lot of us are living each day moving from one stressor to another, or are living under deadlines and expectations that put us in a constant state of stress.
This constant stress causes your immune system to suffer and eventually colds and other bacteria and/or viruses can slip in unnoticed and cause you grief.
According to Dr. Mercola,
“Stress has a major influence on the function of your immune system, which is why you’ve probably noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold when you’re under a lot of stress.
“This is true for both acutely stressful episodes, such as preparing a big project for work and chronic stress, such as relationship troubles or grief. Both will deteriorate your immune system and leave it less able to fight off infection.”
The Solution: Learn how to better cope with and reduce the stress in your life. This may seem impossible at times, but make sure your priorities are in line. Is taking another 3 credits in college really worth sacrificing your health? If you’re overwhelmed with your children, what can you do to make sure you get a daily break and/or get your kids out of the house so you can have time to relax? Have you tried meditation? Do you practice breathing techniques to lower heart rate and blood pressure?
Take time to SLOW DOWN. Life’s meaning doesn’t increase along with the length of your busy list. Be present. Breath. Learn to be satisfied with having less on your calendar.