I recently did some research on how stress can affect the immune system, desperate to figure out why I kept getting colds when I seemed to be “doing everything right”. I ended up finding some really valuable information, along with a super simple remedy that has worked wonders! If you have been feeling stressed & notice a drop in your immune system, read on, I think you’ll find this information both interesting and very helpful!
One of the most immediate signs of over stimulation and low levels of coping is a cold or flu- both of which are caused by a poorly functioning immune system. During Winter and early Spring, your system may be reacting to lower levels of daylight, and colder temperatures, but sustained levels of stress also affect the smooth function of your immune system- your body’s own defense mechanism. How? It’s back to cavemen again (lol), whose physical bodies we still inhabit. When we react to an external stressor, we go into the fight or flight response, as we have seen- primed to deal with danger. We are hyped up to do something active like running, or even cleaning the house, using muscles pumped full of blood to fight off an aggressor.At the same time, our adrenal glands , which sit on top of our kidneys, are busy releasing chemicals into our bloodstream; one of which is cortisol, which actually weakens the immune response.
This is not so serious if we are just experiencing an isolated stressful event, after which we can recover; however, if we remain in that hyped up state over a prolonged period, cortisol continues to be released, the immune system protection is reduced, and we are much more likely to get sick. If you ae the kind of person who seems to catch every virus going around (like I was), you may need to take a serious look at the areas of your life that are causing you the most stress, and learn some ways to reduce or modify the effects.
The good news is that nature has provided some very efficient remedies to boost your immune system, and give you extra support to help ease your symptoms! Eucalyptus for example, has highly aromatic leaves that release a powerful fragrance of essential oil. When distilled from the leaves, eucalyptus oil can be used to unblock sinuses, ease head congestion, and soothe coughs. The scent s also very effective at lifting your spirits, which are likely to be low if you are stressed and/or not feeling your best.
10 Minute Immune Boost Using Eucalyptus Essential Oil
The quickest and easiest way to feel the benefits of eucalyptus oil is to do a steam inhalation.
- Pour 10 cups boiling water into a heatproof bowl
- Add 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- Lean over the bowl with your head under a towel, and inhale the aromatic steam for 10 minutes
You can also carry eucalyptus oil with you, simply put 2 drops on a facial tissue and inhale the aroma anytime you need a quick treatment!
I have more great information on stress and stress busters to share, but this is all I have time for tonight. I promise I’ll post more soon, but in the mean time, if you have any stress busting tips or remedies I’d love for you to leave them for me in a comment below. I would love to share your tips in my next stress busting post!
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