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I remember a time in my life when I was getting sick every 3 months.  It was awful.  The runny nose, sore throat, coughing, difficulty swallowing, difficulty sleeping, swollen neck, and sore muscles would last for months. And just as all of the symptoms were clearing up and I was starting to feel like myself again, I would get a few weeks of relief before repeating it all again. This went on for years.

I didn't understand it. I was eating mostly healthy, I was young and active. I thought I was doing everything 'right'. But wow, I was stressed out! I was pushing myself beyond my physical limits and trying to do way too much in a day (every day), living in a trauma situation, and just overall unhappy.

A stressful lifestyle, improper eating habits, an imbalanced diet and increased exposure to chemicals such as environmental pollutants (air, water) and pesticides, drugs, hormones, heavy metals in foods also weaken our body gradually. Immune systems are affected both by negative thought processes and stress. When our immune system is worn down, we are more likely to experience low energy levels and catch common colds.  

By 18 years old, I was so sick (and tired) that I was spending days in bed at a time and was just unable to move, find energy, or enjoy life.

It was a tough time.  When I finally started to address the stressors in my life, I started to notice some improvement. Now, it definitely didn't happen overnight (just like I didn't get that sick overnight). It started with just having better days. Better moods. Better energy. Better sleep. And, low and behold, getting sick less often!

Who knew?! Haha, turns out that this information isn't new to the world of health, wellness, and science! 

When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system (e.g. lowers the number of lymphocytes). Stress can also have an indirect effect on the immune system as a person may use unhealthy behavioral coping strategies to reduce their stress, such as drinking and smoking. Short-term suppression of the immune system is not dangerous.  However, chronic suppression leaves the body vulnerable to infection and disease.

 

So here are 3 fast ways that you can ditch stress to avoid getting sick! 

1. Take 10 deep breaths every morning before getting out of bed & 10 deep breaths before going to sleep every night!

Our lives begin and end with the breath and, in between these two moments of birth and death, most of us will take countless breaths but rarely give it a moment's notice. 

Scientists have observed that animals know how to shake off the stress of life-threatening situations by proper breathing to bring themselves back to a relaxed state. This ability to maintain balance is an intuitive trait for both animals and humans. However, humans have suppressed this ability and have become unable to maintain the equilibrium due to the modern lifestyle, which includes unnatural living conditions, high stress, environmental pollutants, and poor quality of food. 

 

We are under constant siege of recurring health and emotional issues which constantly obstruct the quality of life. Traumas such as emotional neglect, violent abuse, or physical injury have made us forget our instinctive selves. 

 

Usually, the breath is the first physiological response to being affected by trauma, but the change in breathing patterns is rarely noticed. Breathing has the ability to deeply calm the mind and body by bringing a sense of peace and tranquillity to whatever you are dealing with. Take some time out from your daily routine to breathe deeply and do so in a fresh, natural environment to enable the inhalation of fresh air and maximize the benefits.

Here are some of the ways healthy breathing can help to boost our immune systems.

  • Helps to reduce stress responses by the regulation of the nervous system which starves the energy from the healthy immune system and doesn't let it function properly.
  • Increases vital energy and helps the body in the constant process of self-healing and detoxifying.
  • Accelerates the regeneration of tissues by helping the regenerative systems of the body to heal/regenerate.
  • Speeds up the recovery process from trauma and disease.

 

2. Start practicing MINDFULNESS

As you might already know, mindfulness is a way to be in the present and only the present. You focus on what you are doing or thinking at this moment, without worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Mindfulness can be used for so many things, from helping you to lose weight, to regaining your focus on important work projects. It is important for your mental and emotional health, as well as your physical health.

One specific method of being more mindful is through meditation. The two things combine to allow you to be a happier, more fulfilled, and more balanced person. Here are some things to know about mindfulness meditation.

One of the top reasons people like mindfulness meditation is because it helps reduce their stress. When you start meditating and living in the present with mindfulness, you learn how to think about things differently. It isn’t going to magically get rid of all those stressful situations and people in your life, but it helps you to deal with them better. You develop a healthy coping mechanism where you understand and appreciate things for what they are and stop dwelling on how much worse they could be. It truly is remarkable how helpful this is for your overall stress and anxiety.

 

3. Start using positive affirmations.

Positive affirmations can help manage stress and create a positive and happier life. If you are in a stressful situation, are overthinking, or are unsure how to break the cycle of negativity, then turning your course towards some beautiful positive affirmations can be helpful. Positive affirmations can boost your mood and shift your thoughts out of negative patterns. Check out some of my favourite ones over here! 

4 Keys to Successful Affirmation Statements:
• It must be believable and within your control
• It must be present tense (happening now), from your perspective (I statements), positive (no "not" or "don't)
• You must FEEL IT when you think it, as if you believe it
• You must repeat it REGULARLY

Try this Affirmation activity:
For this activity you can focus on one thought you are looking to counteract, or you can brainstorm a number of different repetitive thoughts.


What NEGATIVE BELIEFS to you commonly think to yourself (or even say out loud) about yourself, your capabilities, your confidence, or anything else that holds you back?

For each negative belief, write a NEW phrase that is positive and empowering, using the guidelines above. Ask yourself, what would counteract the negative thought—nullify it? What would be the opposite? What do you WANT to think or believe in this situation?

 

All of this takes just a few minutes every day and has the power to change your life! Which one will you start with?

 

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