Fear Versus Immunity
The author Maya Angelou once wrote: “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space – invite one to stay”. In relation to health, you can probably equally say – ‘invite’ good health (and immunity) OR fear.
In light of the uncertain times we’re living in right now, I wanted to share some of the tips I give my clients who frequently face a wide range of fears.
Why is fear to be avoided? While a modicum of fear is normal, healthy and ensures our survival, when felt chronically, fear will harm your immune system. Constant fear will trigger a fight or flight response in your body, and increase the production of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline). This will then suppress some essential functions: digestion, cardio-vascular and immune systems among others. These will be put on hold until the perception of fear and other stresses are eliminated.
Here are some practical tips to help you lower your fear and stress levels:
- Keep the news to a minimum – on any media.
- Breathe more deeply, little and often, particularly before eating. Read more
- Meditation can instantly stop the stress response. There isn’t a right or wrong way to meditate, but free apps are widely available to get you started. Read more
- Go into nature. Every day.
- Hug your loved ones more (furry and human) to boost feel-good hormones.
- Do more of what you love. Now is the time for reading that book, gardening or having baths.
- Communicate with friends, family and community – don’t stay isolated.
- Keep a gratitude journal and write 3 things you’re grateful for – every night.
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