This post about why stress makes you sick is part of a sponsored conversation with Ricola Herb Drops and SocialStars. All opinions are my own. #RicolaCrowd
Can stress make you sick? If it is your constant emotional state, it certainly can. Too much stress can suppress your immune system and cause you to get sick more often. And for busy moms, stress and illness are never a good combination! How do you fight off illness and reduce stress? Keep reading for a few easy tips!
Can anxiety make you physically sick?
In my case, anxiety really did make me sick. Many years ago, when the kids were younger, I worked at their preschool in the morning. Then I came home and spent the rest of the day taking care of two young kids. And at night after my husband got home, I went to work in the pharmacy. Needless to say, I was burning the candle at both ends and was struggling to keep up.
I started having health problems. Chronic stomach issues, tightness in my chest, headaches….I was not in a great place. I seriously thought I was just suffering from food allergies until a talk with my doctor made me realize that all of my physical symptoms were most likely brought on by stress. I really never thought about my emotional well being turning my physical body into a huge, hot mess.
Like this post? Here are a few more ways to reduce stress:
- How to be Mindful at Work to Reduce Stress and Improve Health
- Orange and Pomegranate Sugar Scrub and a Stress Free Holiday
- Simple Meditation Tips for Mindful Living
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever wondered why stress makes you sick? Here is a very brief rundown of your body’s response to stress. Keep reading for a few ways that I continue to try tackling my high drive nature so it doesn’t take a toll on my physical well being.
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Why Stress Makes You Sick
Everyone’s body reacts differently to stress. And each person’s stress threshold is different. What stresses YOU out, may not effect someone else at all. Some people thrive on a busy schedule while others need a more mellow and sedate type of lifestyle. But, if you are wondering why stress makes you sick, here are a few physiological responses to stress that you may notice:
- Can cause the body to produce more digestive acid, which leads to heartburn. It also messes with digestion and can cause gas and bloating.
- Increases certain hormones which in turn set off some neurological pathways that then lead to headaches. Stress headaches are no fun!
- Causes insomnia. In fact, sleep problems are the number one complaint from people who are way too stressed out.
- Can cause weight gain. Apparently, our ancestor’s bodies thought stress meant physical danger which required energy to battle or escape from. Thus, stress releases ‘hunger hormones’ which make us crave carbs and fat. Which then land right on our hips because we are not running from lions.
- Suppresses the immune system, making it easier for you to get sick. There is a reason so many people get sick around the holiday season. The stress of the holidays wears down our immune systems and causes us to succumb to all those nasty germs.
What is overthinking a symptom of?
I am an overthinker. As a result, anxiety seems to hit me hard. They feed off one another. I am a very high drive, Type A kind of person. I don’t sit still well, I worry constantly, and I multitask everything.
It is not in my nature to relax, let things slide, or just sit down and veg when there are still things to be done. That means I stress out about everything to the point where it makes me physically sick. It has happened in the past and I don’t doubt that it will happen again in the future. I’m working on it, but fighting my own inner nature is tough to do.
How to Fight Stress During the Holidays
The holidays are coming up soon and in addition to the normal chaos of baking, cleaning, social expectations and gift giving, I am heading to London for a week with my daughter. Most years, I barely survive the holiday chaos so throwing in a week long trip to Europe is going to throw a major wrench in my plans to stay on top of things. But, I have a plan. It is going to be a plan that balances ME time with my innate need to control every aspect of my life.
How can I stop feeling sick from stress?
So, what is my plan to prevent stress from making me sick? It IS possible to prevent stress from making you sick. However, it is a blend of boosting the immune system and de-stressing your life. And it isn’t necessarily easy. However, this week, I am taking my list making, organized, high drive nature and putting it to good use.
- Start holiday shopping NOW. September is way less hectic than November so I am getting it done ahead of time.
- Put massages and doctor visits on the calendar and make the appointments ahead of time. A massage every few weeks should hopefully keep my stress under control!
- Hire someone to clean the house rather than doing it yourself right before the holidays. I normally do not ever hire housekeeping people, preferring to do it all myself. Well, I CAN’T do it all myself without making myself sick so I am delegating a few things.
- Hit the gym daily to battle stress and the resulting weight gain. Exercise also helps you sleep better!
- Baby your immune system. Plenty of water, healthy foods, extra sleep, vitamins and Ricola Herbal Immunity drops!
Ricola Herbal Immunity drops
Ricola Herbal Immunity harnesses the power of herbs, ginseng and vitamins B6, B12 and C to boost immunity and fight fatigue. When we are stressed out, we need immune support! New Ricola Herbal Immunity helps you stay well and gives you the power to always bring your “A Game”. With the holidays fast approaching, I need all the help I can get.
New Ricola Herbal Immunity is available in two varieties, Honey Herb and Citrus Herb. They are honestly both delicious. I have them in a decorative bowl on my counter and reach for one regularly to keep my immunity up.
I am really hoping that making my health a priority this holiday season will keep my healthier and happier as we move through the end of the year! The last thing I need is the flu for Christmas or fly to Europe with a head cold! Now that you know why stress makes you sick, what will YOU do to fight it?
Check out these tips on how to boost immunity!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.