Does stress affect illness?

Research indicates that some stress is good for us, it can keep us feeling positive, healthy and optimised! Yet, stress can be an issue, depending on personal factors. We've a tendency to be a highly competitive society (!) and expect of much of ourselves.

There are good research studies observing the relationship between the brain, the nervous system and immunity.

The key problem with stress seems to be where it is sustained over long periods of time. We all encounter daily stresses and problems. If we are holding negative and unwanted emotions, its effects can begin to accumulate within the body.

Recent research indicates how stress may contribute to conditions such as Obesity, Heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression, gastro-intestinal problems and asthma.

Stress can also play a role in the signs of ageing. We tend to be more aware of this because we can see out reflection in a mirror. What if we could see those same subtle changes on the interior of our body?

When our fight / flight / freeze response becomes permanently activated, this can't be healthy.

It puts a strain on our body systems, such as the nervous and endocrine systems

We are designed to react to and cope with short periods of stress - and perhaps not negative, sustained stress over months, or even years

We've all experienced a day, a week, a longer period of time, filled with problems, and a natural auto response comes out; "Oh, give me a break!"

Where you are experiencing an illness, there is often no choice but to step away from stressful situations.

It's good to step back from non-beneficial stress, before it affects our health. We know that the body recovers quicker when we rest.

Researchers looked at the effects of sleep on mice. Control Studies undertaken indicate that during sleep the brain cleans itself in the hours whilst resting. Cited as the Glymphatic System which appears to get 'switched on' during sleep to clear neurotoxic waste products.

Rest is valuable in immunity, so it stands to reason, the internal systems of our bodies, can be effective in communicating with cells and their related organs when we are in a relaxed state.

Take a break and look after you

If you are faced with negative stressful situations, everyday aspects of life can seem everything from invasive to overwhelming.

There are so many small and beautiful gifts that we forget to give ourselves; a walk in nature, relaxing by a stream or in a meadow

If you are in the city - take a chair outside and watch the night sky; the enormity of our universe is mind-blowing

Nature; the world around us provides the most wonderful art

Reflexology and other complimentary alternative medicines are great for use as part of an overall health care plan. If you are suffering from illness it's good to first discuss your requirements with your GP or health specialist prior to commencing a course of Holistic Therapy


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