COVID-19, Stress and The Immune System

Updated: Jan 6

In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic it is Important to remember to try and STAY CALM, the increasing levels of cortisone caused by stress will weaken your immune system making you vulnerable to catching this virus.

By remaining calm and following the guidelines laid out by the world health organisation, your immune system will remain stable and you will be less likely to contract or be better equipped to deal with this virus.

Here are some helpful tips you can try the next time you need to calm down…

· Breathe

· Admit that you're anxious or worried

· Challenge your thoughts

· Release the anxiety or worry through breathing

· Visualize yourself calm

· Think it through

· Listen to music

· Change your focus

Below is a guide on the effects of stress on the Immune system.

How stress affects the immune system

If you’re going through a stressful period in your life, which we all are, it can have a huge impact on both your mental and physical health. Being stressed can lower your immunity, making you more susceptible to bacteria and viruses, especially new viruses where the body has not developed immunity to it.

What’s chronic stress?

If you’ve been stressed for a long period of time, you have what’s known as chronic stress. As well as affecting your immune system it can lead to depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, sleep problems and increase your chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke, this will aslo increase your risk of contracting COVID-19.

Stress and your immune system

Having chronic stress can result in you developing inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. When stressed, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol which can cause your body to struggle to regulate its inflammatory response and attack itself.

Your immune system will be further impaired by your body not producing enough lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are a vital part of your immune system as they fight off bacteria and viruses. Digestion is also impaired whilst you’re stressed and this can lead to gastric ulcers.

How to reduce your stress levels

It’s important to recognise what’s causing you stress and try to tackle it if you can.

Our main stressor right now is the Coronavirus, however this can be applied to any area of your life where you are experiencing stress.

You might benefit from trying the above advice on how to calm yourself when you notice you are feeling this way alternatively get advice from a professional or find a friend you can confide in.

For the sake of your health, you need to take action.

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