Stress takes a major toll on the body. Chronic pain, migraines, weight gain, breathing difficulties, and sleep issues are just the beginning. It turns out, you can also worry yourself sick—literally.
Have you ever noticed that you get sick in times of stress? It seems like we go down with an illness right before a work presentation, moving, or the holidays—right when it’s the last thing you need. Or do you remember when you were in college and you’d always get sick during midterms and finals? Thursday night keggers didn’t help, BUT that’s another story…
The point is, stress weakens the immune system. It triggers the release of cortisol, preparing us to spring into action in emergency situations. The release of stress hormones decreases white blood cells, the cells of the immune system that protect the body against infectious disease and foreign invaders, leaving us super susceptible to disease and illness. In fact, studies show that we can blame stress for as much as 90% of disease and illness—even cancer.
The thing is, our bodies are built to heal. The perfect immune system will protect us by fending off viruses, bacteria, and parasites, but won’t react to benign things like pollen or food. However, these days, the “perfect” immune system is hard to come by. In our fast-paced world, there’s a lot of pressure to perform, to work 24/7, and to be productive at all times. Plus, as an ambitious woman, we could guess that you put added pressure on yourself to do all and do it all for everyone else, too. Talk about stressful! Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your immune system leaving you sick and tired. Not to mention, being sick makes things like work and parenting even harder! It’s a vicious cycle we can all relate to.
So what’s a girl to do? Here’s what: Manage your stress! Stress management is crucial when it comes to boosting immunity and staying healthy—we must also note that genetics and other factors do play a role, as well. But there’s so much we can do to reduce stress, lower cortisol levels, and support immune function.
- Take a breather. Studies show that deep breathing and meditation lower anxiety and stress levels, reduce blood pressure and improve immunity. That being said, don’t wait till you’re stressed the f*ck out to take a deep breath. Create a daily routine of meditation, starting with just two minutes a day, eventually working your way up to 20 minutes a day. Know that you can always turn to your breath when stressful situations arise, anytime, anywhere.
- Sweat it out. Regular, moderate exercise boosts immunity by slowing down the release of stress hormones and flushing out bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Walking, biking, yoga, dancing or swimming are all awesome ways to break a sweat and stave off illness.
- Gut check. About 80% of your immune cells live in your gut, which means if you strengthen your gut health, you’re less likely to get sick or suffer from allergies and autoimmune disease. Get your gut right by minimizing the use of antibiotics, incorporate a high-quality daily probiotic, and eat a healthy, balanced diet full of veggies and probiotic-rich foods. Think yogurt, tempeh, kefir, and sauerkraut.
- Soak up the sun. The sun is our best source of Vitamin D, which is a powerful immune system booster. We know you’re busy hustlin’ and it’s easy to get stuck at your desk all day, but this is permission to take a break, and get outside for some fresh air and sunshine. Doctor’s orders ;)
- Supercharge your immune system with supplements. Meet the #dreamteam of immune-boosting supplements: Stress Fighter, zinc, and vitamin C.
- Stress Fighter is our signature blend of clinically-dosed adaptogenic herbs and amino acids, designed to regulate cortisol, reduce stress, and improve sleep. Take 2/day with a big glass of water!
- Zinc is an immunity powerhouse. It acts as an antioxidant and fights off free radicals in the body like bacteria and viruses. Take 15 to 30 mg a day to support a solid immune system.
- Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps white blood cells function more effectively. Take 75 mg a day to fight illness and shorten the duration of colds.