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  • Writer's pictureDenise Christie

Stress, Illness and The Immune System

The truth is – one of the biggest causes of stress is encountering something which is totally outside of your control.

Of course, it's IMPOSSIBLE to avoid entirely all the talk of the Covid-19 virus doing the rounds at the moment. We are being bombarded 24/7 by the news and print media.

I often have people say to me – well Denise you don't get stressed or you always seem calm. And whilst that might be mostly the case now – let me tell you it was not always that way. I made a conscious decision to stop watching mainstream news about 20 years ago because of the effect I found it was having on my health.

When you think about it when you watch any of the news programmes, the presenters are shouting and using fearful language. It's all designed to get people addicted to the drama of it in order to build advertising revenue. The truth is - when you are in fear, when you are witnessing drama – you are experiencing stress! So I consider one of the main reasons why I have a handle on my stress levels is because I refuse to watch the news or read the papers.

If the radio happens to be on when the news is on I will listen in to that. The difference between radio news and TV news is there is no drama – only the facts. Because they only have two and a half minutes to present us with the facts.

So you will still be aware of what is going on locally and globally – but without the stress that watching TV news and reading the paper brings about. The truth is most of the stress we are generating for ourselves around this topic is based on something that might never happen to us.

So by constantly worrying and stressing about it now, you are asking your body to deal with the threat of impending danger of something that may simply never come about.

The facts are that this is a relatively minor virus in terms of it's effects on the human body. However it is also true that this virus presents a huge risk to those who are already immuno suppressed or have an underlying condition.

The total irony of this is that – at a time when we need our immunity to be as strong as it possibly can be – it is being thoroughly undermined by the dangerously high levels of stress we are experiencing.

Of course a reasonable level of anxiety is actually good for you!  It serves to make you much more likely to avoid situations where the risk of contracting the virus is increased and also to take sensible precautions such as frequent and thorough hand washing.

The only way to counteract the negative effects of all this stress however, is to do whatever you are able to build up your immune system.

By strengthening your immune system as you are able you can create as much personal resistance to the virus as possible.

  • Supplementing with good quality immune-boosting vitamins such as C, antioxidants and zinc

  • Reduce your intake of alcohol, sugary and refined foods which can all weaken your immunity

  • Drink plenty of water to support your lymph system

  • Take a quality probiotic to improve gut flora

  • Eat meals containing yogurt, garlic, sweet potato, ginger, turmeric, citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and red peppers - all known to have immune-boosting properties

  • Ensure you are getting enough good quality sleep every single night

  • Try out a daily meditation for relaxation

  • Get out in nature as often as you are able

  • Switch off the news!

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”

~Hermann Hesse



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