Is Stress Keeping Your Sick?

Uncategorized Apr 22, 2019

Do you ever feel like you just never get well?

That no sooner have you got over one cold, virus or bug the next is just lurking round the corner waiting to jump into your body and take hold. It’s as if they know you are easy prey!

You’re forever at the Doctor’s, but have been so many times they now refuse you antibiotics. You’ve tried changing your diet but that doesn’t seem to make any difference. You’ve tried exercising more but the gaps between illness seem so few and far between you can never get into any kind of routine before you are struck down.

The irony is that you are the last person who needs all this illness in your life & the truth is you just don’t have time for it!

You can’t take a day off work because:

  1. You don’t get sick pay
  2. You know that if you take a day off you lose out on clients / customers and therefore money
  3. You just know that when you return your to do list will have piled up so high you’ll never get back on top of it again (not that you ever manage to get on top of it in the first place!)

So you drag yourself out of bed each morning dosed up on your painkillers of choice for that day, you troop on and the cycle continues, never ceasing, never easing, never getting better.

Have you ever stopped to consider that it is all this stress that could be not only the cause of your sickness but the reason you can never seem to get better?

You see the stress hormones which are coursing through your body all day every day (unless you switch them off) are ensuring your blood is flowing to your peripheries and away from your vital internal organs - hence the digestive issues you are most probably experiencing on top of everything else.

They are ensuring you eat plenty of foods which offer rapid calories and are keeping you prepped at all times to fight or flee that imaginary sabre toothed tiger at the office.

You see because Stress is keeping your body on high alert in this way from morning through til night, keeping all your bodies energies ready for action, your immune system doesn’t get much of a look in. So while your cells are gathered together ready to fight off the imminent external (albeit imagined) danger, they struggle to fight off the internal invaders.

Think of it like all the emergency services and soldiers in the UK rushing to the coast to protect the country from imaginary invaders when a different, quieter, more subtle much more real invader has already infiltrated inland and is attacking the citizens.

The worst part of it is that the army and emergency services remain at the coast on high alert, until they are told to stand down.

But this is where the problem lies - when we get constantly stressed with the day to day challenges of modern life, we forget to take the time to tell those stress hormones to stand down!

Our bodies don’t know that there is no real threat or imminent danger. Even if we know it logically, we forget to pass that message on to our bodies.

So how can our immune systems even get a look in? Well the good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Wouldn’t you love to end this constant battle, to wake up in the morning with a smile on your face and the desire to get out of bed. With the time and inclination feed yourself a truly nutritious breakfast before enjoying a productive day with the energy to do something fun at the end of it?!

Well this is possible and all it takes is a simple self care routine, this has to start with a decision. A decision to make a change once and for all, a decision to look after yourself, to love and nurture yourself, to stop being so hard on yourself and to begin to treat yourself with kindness.

Once you have made this decision it’s time to act on it.

Incorporate a meditative activity into your day. 15 - 30 mins is all it takes to switch on the relaxation response (the parasympathetic nervous system) which counteracts the stress response (the sympathetic nervous system). A meditative activity can be anything from meditation to yoga, tai chi to prayer (no matter what your religion or beliefs) - the common requirement being a repetition and a disregard for everyday thoughts.

This simple act of turning off the stress hormones on your body could be all it has been asking for all this time.

Give it a go for a couple of weeks and notice the difference. Not only may you start to feel a whole lot better and be able to fend off those dreaded bugs, but you may just find yourself feeling a little calmer, more patient and happier too - they sound to me like better side effects than any drug the doctor can prescribe!

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