The world is undergoing an unprecedented situation, where we are required to work with precautions, essentially by social distancing. COVID-19 has stressed-out people’s lives for numerous concerns, especially related to their immune systems.
The majority of the population in almost every country is under the fear of losing jobs and opportunities. People are fearful of lacking behind in the economy and above all, death. Something like this, was not so common, in the past and now, when the virus is in, many are facing panic and anxiety-related concerns.
The lockdown rules have significantly helped us gain physical strength whereas mental strength is still been ignored. A strong immune system has been gifted to us to fight any virus, however, it can weaken by mental and emotional disbalance.
Yes, your external environment can mess up your immune system for the worst scenario. And hence, it’s time that you understand that fear and stress in their subjugated form are even more dangerous as it increases the risk of infections.
Dr. Joe Dispenza, a neuroscientist and a well-known author of the famous book, “You are the Placebo” has very beautifully described the relationship of thoughts & feelings with brain & body, respectively.
He says, “Thought is a language of the brain and feeling a language of the body”. And hence, when you think of fearful thoughts, your body programs itself to feel fearful.
How does Stress impact your Immune system?
The negative thoughts, if entertained for a long duration such as years, can cause prolonged stress. It can be disastrous on the immune system. Well, the body works upon the chemicals released (depending upon what you have been thinking), which further impacts or shifts the entire biology.
According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, living in stress equals living in survival mode i.e fight-or-flight response. And you can neither stay in survival mode forever nor you can let your body be seriously damaged. It leads to no repair or growth or maintenance at the cellular level, which further leads to improper functioning of cells as a group.
Now the question you must ask yourself is…
Are you living in survival mode?
Undoubtedly, stress has become a major part of the life of almost every individual in the modern world. Stress not only has a negative and disastrous effect on our mind but also takes a toll on the body. Well, this is because a major part of our body’s energy is used in coping with stress as we are constantly living in survival mode.
According to a book called “You Are the Placebo” by Dr. Joe Dispenza, all forms of stress (physical, chemical, and emotional) can initiate a number of changes in the mind and body. Well, they have the capability of setting off more than 1400 chemical reactions.
Through the autonomous nervous system, the mind influences the body by triggering the flight-or-fight response. There-by sending our body into survival mode. A number of reactions take place in the body which will decide whether to fight or flee in a situation. When one senses a threat in their external environment, the fight-or-flight response, or “the survival mode” gets activated.
Further, this results in an increase in heart rate and blood pressure levels, tensing of muscles, and an increase in hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. All organisms are designed to deal with stress. Feeling stressed is supposed to be adaptive in nature.
For example, if you are in a situation like having an encounter with any wild animal, your body will enter the survival mode. It will become unbalanced until it reaches safety. Once you are out of danger, your body will become balanced again.
Now, the problem is that our lifestyle has become so stressful these days that we are forced to constantly live in survival mode. Well, think of your relationship problems, workload, lack of recreation, etc. All these keep you stressed on a daily basis.
Constant worry and stress
Well, the short term stress is bound to eventually become long term stress. In such a situation your body cannot return to its original balanced state as expected. Your body is not allowed to rejuvenate and heal. Rather it is constantly engaged in defensive stance or rather “the survival mode”.
And hence a large part of the body’s energy is wasted in dealing with this long term stress depriving the other body parts of their energy to function properly. Furthermore, this gives rise to other health problems like anxiety and depression.
Over time such short term stresses culminate into long- term stress and give rise to health problems like anxiety, depression, strokes, cancer, ulcers, arthritis, allergies, infertility, chronic fatigue, impotence, allergies, accelerated aging, hair loss, and diabetes to name a few.
We are not programmed to withstand long-term stress and neither are we capable to hard-wire ourselves to survive it.
Well, as per the above, how you think and then feel has the ability to further impact your body at a genetic level. Now, you must be aware of the study that clearly discusses the weakening impact of genetics on your immune system.
Furthermore, your autonomic nervous system gets automated on a high flush of stress, which further links to the intestinal nervous system.
Furthermore, the adrenal glands end up in the production of cortisol results in visceral fat. It further releases hormones in the immune system chemicals called Cytokines. This is what leads to a spike in the risks of chronic diseases. Also, chronic stress can hamper the function of some immune cells making the body susceptible to the infections.
Scary or Mind-opening?
Well, there’s always something you can do no matter what the problem is (however, that requires a calm mind that can think of a solution for the better and not attract more problems for the worst).
You can opt for not allowing the negative state of mind to become the state of being. Well, minimizing the news hours and practicing meditation instead might help you get started. You can learn new things and invest your time in understanding more about the mind and body connection.
Also, you may opt for working on your hobbies. It will further help calm your mind to get rid of all your fears for certain hours if not more. Moreover, you must remember to abide by the lockdown rules strictly.