Stress and Immunity
When we experience stress, the immune system’s ability to fight infection is reduced. Neurotransmitters communicate to the part of the brain that processes emotional signals (amygdala). An alert is sent to the part of the brain that acts as the connector between the endocrine and nervous systems (hypothalamus). The hypothalamus communicates with the rest of the body through the nervous system activating the fight or flight response, resulting in the release of cortisol (Chrousos, 2009, pp. 374-81).
Stress wreaks havoc on our bodies and immune system
When you’re stressed, your immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced, making you more susceptible to getting sick. While you can’t completely avoid stress from social distancing and isolation, you can change how you respond to stress. Mind-body strategies can help us reframe a painful or difficult experience into one that reinforces a sense of resiliency, self-control, and confidence.
Using the power of breath can help you relax when your stress flares. I use Dr. Weil’s famous 4-7-8- breath technique twice each day to help reduce my stress and anxiety.
Here’s how it works and it only takes 2 minutes:
- Inhale through your nose for a count of 4
- Hold your breath for a count of 7
- Exhale through your mouth to a count of 8
- Repeat 4 cycles