Life definitely likes to throw us some curveballs and at times it can get a little hectic when we have the added stress of deadlines, relationships and other life events which are completely out of our control. We’ve probably all experienced that feeling where we think everything, including us, is about to sink in a never-ending ship of stress.

 

HOW DOES STRESS AFFECT YOUR IMMUNITY?

 

Have you ever gotten sick around the time you were really stressed? That may be because, when you’re stressed, your immune system has a harder time fighting off antigens like bacteria, making you more vulnerable to infections.[1] Crazy right? When we’re stressed, our body’s lymphocytes levels can decrease (those knights in shining armour white blood cells which help fight off infections). The lower the lymphocyte level, the higher the risk of viruses including the common cold and cold sores.[2] This is exactly what we DON’T want.

 

So how can we minimise the impact that stress can have on our lives? We’re going to give you our top 5 favourite stress relievers which may assist you in easing those stressful times and potentially protecting your immune system that little bit extra!

 

STRESS RELIEVING TIPS

 

  1. Exercise: Sometimes the last thing we want to do on those cold wintery days is jump out of bed and do exercise. However, not only can regular exercise reduce the likelihood of you having a heart attack and other illnesses, but it can also reduce your stress![1] Next time you’re feeling that little bit extra worked up, try going for a run, walk or whatever you prefer. Don’t forget to set yourself a fitness goal to make your workouts more meaningful and give you greater satisfaction when you’ve achieved those milestones.

 

  1. Take a break: Sometimes we may think that the only way we will ease our stress is by tirelessly over-working ourselves to get it all done. At the end of the day, we’re only human and we need BREAKS!! In between trying to get all your tasks done, make sure you take a relaxing break like listening to your favourite music, spending some time with your pet or reading your favourite book. Taking these breaks can help to facilitate recovery, which can allow you to return to a clearer state of mind and reset your mood.[2]

 

  1. Make time for hobbies: To reiterate, taking a break is ESSENTIAL and if you can engage with a hobby during this break time that’s even better. Hobbies can bring extreme enjoyment into your life and can assist in minimising the impact of stress. A study showed that individuals in stressful jobs feel less of a need to recover from their day when they have hobbies that aren’t work related.[3]

 

  1. Taking one thing at a time: We’ve probably all felt at one point in our life like we had way too much on our plate and didn’t know how we were going to get through it. We’re telling you now, making a to-do list is a lifesaver. By creating to-do lists, it can be an instant stress-reliever and each task you cross off is extremely satisfying. Make sure during this process you continue having regular breaks.

 

  1. Connecting with nature: Immersing yourself in nature can be extremely beneficial in reducing your stress. It can also enhance your physical wellbeing by reducing your blood pressure, heart rate and the production of stress hormones.[4]

 

If your immune system is needing an extra boost, click here for our Wellness Juice Shot recipe!

Feature Image Via: @plantifultaste