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Can stress affect your immune system health?

Can you imagine a stress-free life? Probably not. That’s because stress is a normal part of being human. But when we feel stress constantly, it can affect how you feel emotionally, mentally, and physically. It can even affect your immune system.

So, while it’s impossible to avoid stress entirely, there are healthy ways to minimize its influence on your mind and body.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the immune system, how stress can affect it, and discover some of the ways to manage stress that can help you say “C-ya!” to occasionally feeling overwhelmed.

Your Immune System

Every healthy adult is born with an immune system, and it evolves over time. It gradually develops during infancy and matures through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Each person’s immune system is unique – partly defined by genetics – but also influenced by age and external factors such as diet, physical activity, and environment. It may also be negatively influenced by poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, inactivity, and stress. In other words, the link between stress and immunity may go deeper thank you might think.

Your Body & Stress

Feelings of stress are inevitable. It’s just how life works. Those feelings can come from demanding schedules, family, relationships, school, work, and more. However, it’s important to manage stress long-term because it can have an impact on the body when left unchecked.

When we’re stressed, our body releases certain chemicals and hormones (like cortisol) that can affect how well our immune system works. Short-term, this response is normal, and even beneficial. We’re built this way for a reason. But in the long term, elevated stress levels can lead to changes in the immune system’s response.

Ways to Minimize Common Stress:

  • Take actual breaks. Relax your body. Clear your mind.
  • Prioritize time for hobbies you genuinely enjoy.
  • Talk openly and honestly with people who love you.
  • Read a book, watch your favorite movie, listen to music, listen to a podcast. And remember there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure.
  • Connect with nature. It’s good for you.
  • Regular exercise of any kind, including yoga

Ways to Support Immune Health:

Stress affects everyone. But excessive stress can affect all aspects of your mental, emotional, and physical well-being – including your immune health. That said, the immune system is complex, and there’s no single way to maintain a healthy immune system. Focusing on the strategies shared here, balanced nutrition, exercise, self-care, and other factors all play a role. With that in mind, if you want to Feel Amazing Every Day, simple changes to your wellness routine can pay big dividends to help support a healthy immune system.

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