Stress is an Immune Suppressor

‘Live in the moment. Why? Stress is an immune suppressor. Since we cannot often change the causes, we can change our responses to events. Studies show that ‘mindfulness’ boosts immunity. “We’ve seen changes in the killing-ability  of immune cells in people practising the technique,” says Dr Carolyn Fang of the US Fox Chase Cancer Center.’

                                                                                                                                                                   W & H magazine

When we are always stressed, our bodies constantly go into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Adrenaline is released into your bloodstream to raise your blood pressure and prioritize your muscles and other responses. At the same time the pituitary gland in your brain activates the release of cortisol, which influences your energy levels, but also interferes with the body’s production of white blood cells, which are crucial to an effective immune system. Quite simply, when you are ready to fight or run away, your immune system can be put on the back burner temporarily. The problem arises when we are stressed most of the time so that our immune systems are compromised and we get sick too often.

Remember that emotions can be triggered by thoughts in your mind rather than a real ‘fight or flight’ situation. Just thinking about the quarrel you had with your partner this morning – re-living it in your head – can make your body think it is under threat, and the adrenaline and cortisol are released to help you fight or run away. In other words, The body is constantly going into emergency mode for no relevant reason because it cannot distinguish between real and imagined danger.

We can choose happiness. Be here now, not there then.

Be kind and gentle with yourself. 


About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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2 Responses to Stress is an Immune Suppressor

  1. Michael56j says:

    Great suggestion based on a good analysis of the problem. And I can vouch for the health benefits of living in the ‘now’.

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