When you are focusing on your immune system, many women think the only factors are diet and exercise. Though these can be huge factors in how your immune system handles issues in the body, they are not the only things that can impact immune health. You also need to focus on your mental and emotional health as well. The mind and body have a powerful connection with controlling your immune system. Consider the following ways that your mental health can affect you.
Recognize Anxiety Symptoms
One of the leading ways that mental health can negatively affect your immune system is through anxiety symptoms. The symptoms of anxiety, such as fatigue, can lead your body to mimic the symptoms of a cold or flu. That sends your immune system into overdrive. This means that it is focusing on what it believes to be a cold or flu instead of other issues in the body. When a real issue occurs, the immune system is broken down from focusing on the false cold that your body is triggering due to anxiety.
Take time within your day to have a breathing break. Calm your mind, smooth your facial muscles, and take 10 slow, deep breaths. If your watch has a breathing functions, that is a good way to track your breath timing.
When you have mental health issues from depression and anxiety, you may start to notice issues such as body fatigue. This body fatigue can lead to issues of inflammation and swelling in your muscles and joints. This is usually due to the body becoming tired and then reacting by not wanting to move as much or just feeling drained. The inflammation can lead directly to your immune system trying to counteract the inflammation and pain caused by that inflammation. This overload on your immune system as it tries to counteract the inflammation can cause the system to be fatigued and reduced in effectiveness.
Turmeric has been known to help reduce inflammation. There are many ways to add turmeric to your daily life. Try adding turmeric to soups, scrambled eggs, smoothies, or drink as a tea.
Problem Solve Sleep Issues
When you have mental health issues, you may find yourself sleeping a lot. This is likely due to depression and the effect that depression has on your body. Even though you are sleeping a lot, you may still feel tired. This is because the sleep you are getting is not deep sleep and is therefore not restful. Your body is not getting the rejuvenation it normally would from sleep. That means your digestive system, immune system, and other systems of your body are not resting either. When it does come time for your immune system it will be too fatigued to do any good, thus leading to increased illness.
Often times sleep can be affected by unbalanced hormones. Hormone Balancing Supplements containing DIM (Diindolylmethane) have been known to help regulate estrogen metabolism which may improve sleep.
Reduce Constant Tension
Mental health issues such as anxiety and tension can lead to having your body tense all the time. This leads to migraines, tension headaches, lack of sleep, and the feeling of aches and pains throughout the day. As you start having multiple symptoms from the constant tension, your body will try to react. This reduces the effectiveness of your immune system and overall makes illness more likely.
Carve out time for a walk or other type of exercise break during your day. Giving yourself the permission to take 20-30 minutes “just for you” allows you to step away from tension causing life elements and get a different perspective. Exercise also increases blood flow and encourages healthy breathing, which oxygenates the brain and body.
These are only a few of the ways that your mental health can have a direct effect on your physical health and directly to your immune system. By taking on some daily habits focused on giving you better mental health, you can counteract the issues with your immune system and help it to function in a more stable manner. Remember that you are an amazing human and you can take control of this!