If you think that you’re more likely to catch a cold when you’re feeling stressed, it’s not all in your head. Studies have shown that when exposed to the cold virus, those experiencing chronic stress are more likely to develop the illness than those who report feeling stress-free. Here’s how stress and colds are connected, and what you can do to stay healthy and reduce stress.
How Are Colds Impacted By Stress?
When you’ve gotten sick and are feeling congested, achy, or run-down, it’s not the cold virus itself that’s causing those symptoms. Rather, it’s your immune system fighting the virus by creating an inflammatory response that can make you feel sick.
While you need some inflammation to properly battle a cold infection, too much can overstimulate your immune system and worsen your symptoms.
If you’re experiencing stress, a hormone called cortisol begins to overproduce in your body. The presence of too much cortisol triggers your immune system to turn off its normal response, so it doesn’t mount a strong attack against inflammation.
With your body’s fight against inflammation reduced, cold symptoms are able to manifest in a serious way. That’s why it’s important to prevent sickness by reducing stress.
How Can You Reduce Stress During Cold Season?
While it’s a good idea to reduce stress levels for any number of reasons, doing so during the cold season can positively impact your immune system and help you stay symptom-free.
Start by adapting your morning routine to reduce stress. Waking up earlier than usual may keep you from feeling rushed, and avoiding the urge to check your phone can keep you on schedule while freeing your mind from dealing with potentially stressful information.
If it’s an option for you, carpooling or taking public transportation to work can help reduce stress that’s often brought on by navigating traffic.
Adding stress-reducing habits into the rest of your day can also have a positive impact. Getting more exercise and breathing in the fresh air, limiting your caffeine intake, and even consuming more water can all help to keep your levels of cortisol in check, so your body is more ready to fight off potential colds.
What Else Can You Do To Prevent Colds?
Because reducing your stress might be easier said than done, it’s usually smart to take some other preventative measures during the cold season.
Getting plenty of rest and frequently washing your hands can keep infections from taking hold, as can avoiding crowded indoor settings or being around sick people.
Loading up on fruits and vegetables can boost your immune system, as can keeping fast-food meals to a minimum.
Don’t overlook adding supplements like Brillia Health cold prevention meds to your daily routine, as they can also give your body the extra boost it needs to prevent serious symptoms from developing.
Although being under stress may make you more susceptible to catching a cold, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to become ill. By working to reduce stress, practicing good health habits, and shopping online for preventative supplements, you can help prepare your body to fight off cold symptoms.
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Stay Happy and Healthy!