Building The Immune System By Learning How To De-Stress




Doesn’t it seem like stress is unavoidable? It can be overwhelming managing work and home life while dealing with financial, health, and relational challenges.



On top of that, living in a media-saturated world can also add unwanted stress to our lives. We are constantly confronted with images of what the 'good life' looks like, what others are up to, the next best vacation, people's work successes, social gatherings we are or are not a part of . . . the list goes on.



Now that we face the coronavirus pandemic, it seems we cannot help but be STRESSED OUT. But, it doesn't have to be that way.



By now, we've all heard that the key to fighting the coronavirus is to BUILD OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. You are probably already taking vitamin c, resting more, practicing social distancing, and eating lots of fruits and veggies to help strengthen your immune system. That is great. Keep it up!



But have you ever thought about whether stress affects your health?



Well, it certainly does - SIGNIFICANTLY!



Stress is TOXIC to our bodies. Stress knocks our bodies out of balance and WEAKENS OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM! Stress can bring on the common cold, make us highly susceptible to viruses, and even cause heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer (Tuner, 139).


How?


When we are stressed, we release stress hormones. Adrenaline is one of them.



Many years ago, our ancestors would rely on adrenaline to survive in life-threatening situations. But now that we live in a highly advanced technological age, we are inundated with media, keep ourselves over-busy and overstimulated, and are always 'on'. Because of this, we OVER PRODUCE ADRENALINE! (William 11).


In order to keep up with the fast-paced life, “we are constantly drawing on our adrenaline reserves to put out fires in our working and home lives. The consequences of overstimulating adrenaline include adrenal fatigue, infertility, depression, weight gain, brain fog, moto ticks, twitching, spasms, blurred vision, migraines, moodiness, anxiety, fear, a sense of being lost, paranoia, a loss of the ability to trust… [and] feeds viruses”

- Anthony William from Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods (pg. 12)




HELPFUL HABITS TO DESTRESS



General Rule of Thumb: de-stressing is unique to each person and each person has the responsibility to discover what works best for him or her!


We encourage you to start with self-care.



Maybe that looks like exercise, meditation, and spiritual support. Or maybe it looks like cutting back in areas where they can devote less attention.



I know for me it is not checking off every box on my to-do list and not planning out my life in too much detail. It also looks like enjoyment and present-living...enjoying a beautiful sunrise in the morning, going for a run outside in the fresh air, journaling about the day and what I’m thankful for.

For my mom, it’s sleeping in so she can heal, going on long walks in the forest, praying, deep breathing, and meditating every day.



Maybe you should give yourself grace and take a nap when you are tired and are able. Release suppressed emotions and allow the body to relax in such a way that it actually increases the body’s ability to heal.



Friends of mine encourage people to keep a thought journal and make a list of emotional moments. Practice daily forgiveness. Have a mentor to process life. Lean on your community.




Remember, positive emotions like joy, compassion, and love bring healing and health to our bodies as well.



As a Christian company, John and Maria strongly encourage reading the Bible and practicing inward disciplines of meditation, prayer, and spiritual community. They also encourage solitude and service, worship and celebration



Your mind and body are connected! How you think and feel shapes the environment and well-being of your body.



What causes stress in your life and what will you do to de-stress?




About the author:

Hi! My name is Joni Graves, the daughter of John and Maria Graves. I graduated from Wheaton College in December 2017 and worked abroad in ministry for the past two years in Switzerland and Nepal. I am now back home working for my parent's store as the marketing assistant! I love the new creative challenges, being back home with family, helping out the family business, and eating healthy, homecooked meals again. Thanks for reading - I hope this was encouraging :)


Citations:

Turner, Kelly A. Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer against All Odds. New York: HarperOne, 2014.

William, Anthony. Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods. New York: Hay House Inc., 2016.