Most people know that stress is linked to our mental and physical health. The longer we are stressed or the greater the stress level, the greater the risk of health conditions such as asthma, ulcers, heart attacks, and stroke. Recent studies have shown that stress will also age our immune system.
As our body ages, we have a less coordinated response to new health threats than we did when we were younger. That is because our body produces different immune cells in different proportions than when we were younger. As well, older, more worn out immune cells tend to dominate newer, more agile immune cells resulting in a less effective immune system. Stress ages our immune system even quicker.
There are things you can do to limit the impacts of stress on our immune system.
- Being mindful of healthy habits is one way of preventing immune cell aging. This includes limiting the amount your drink and quitting smoking.
- Mitigating the effects of stress can help too. Focussing on what brings you joy and seeking social help and support can help.
- Exercise and healthy eating habits will help you feel good physically which will help you feel good mentally.
- Get a good night sleep. Sleep is key to healthy living and dealing with stress.
Here are some tools and tips for managing stress: