Relax: natural ways to reduce stress and strengthen your immune system

How to avoid stress

Stress seems to have become a constant factor in the accelerated society. If left unchecked can wreak havoc on our health.

Learning to effectively manage stress can mean the difference between being robust and full of life, or become susceptible to disease. Stress can weaken the immune system and accelerate the aging process. The ability to relax promotes vitality, wellbeing and longevity.

A healthy immune system regulates the process of healing our body and protects against infection and disease. When stress compromises our immune function can lead to colds, flu, fatigue, cardiovascular disorders and premature aging.

Stress increases heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels, adrenaline, cortisol, free radicals and oxidative damage. This initiates the "fight or flight" and excessive pressure on the heart, and in turn may also increase feelings of anxiety and depression.

Tips to relax and strengthen your immune system

Protecting the immune system is a key part to live longer, feel younger and stay healthy. Here are ten natural healthy tips to reduce stress and improve your immune system

1. Walking and practice a physical activity (dancing, gardening, cycling, swimming, weight lifting, etc.).

Regular exercise and physical activity strengthens the immune system, cardiovascular system, heart, muscles and bones. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, improves the performance of mental functioning, concentration / attention, cognitive and reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, cortisol and other stress hormones. Three sessions of 10 minutes of exercise during the day are as effective as a 30-minute workout, and is much easier to make it fit into a busy schedule.

2. Meditation and stretching

The slow, controlled movements and postures of yoga improves muscle strength, flexibility, range of motion, balance, breathing, blood circulation and promotes mental focus, clarity and calm. Stretching also reduces mental and physical stress, tension and anxiety, promotes a good night's sleep, lowers blood pressure and heart rate decreases.

3. Hand hygiene

The most effective measure to prevent the spread of microorganisms that cause infections is good hand hygiene. Wash hands with soap and water as soon as I get home, and always before eating, reduce their exposure to bacterial and viral infections. Should not be washed with soap and water when away from home, carry some hand wipes alcohol-based will help control microbial exposure and transmission. But beware! Do not become obsessed with hygiene.

4. Laughter and humor

There is truth in the saying that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter reduces stress hormones like adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol. It also benefits the immune system by increasing the number and activity of natural killer T cells These cells act as the first line of defense against virus attacks and damaged cells. Finding the humor side of things and participate in activities that make you laugh to increase your immune function and disease resistance.

5. Diet high in nutrients

Eat foods rich in antioxidants (like vitamins A, C, E and lycopene), omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid. Antioxidants fight and neutralize free radicals, molecules that damage cells and cause heart disease, cancer and premature aging. Omega-3 (polyunsaturated fat) have anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and immunological diseases. Are useful in preventing and controlling high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Folic acid prevents cognitive decline, damage to blood vessels and brain cells by lowering homocysteine ​​levels. It also ensures DNA integrity and promotes healthy red blood cell formation.

Sources of these nutrients in food are as follows.

Antioxidants: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, grapefruit (red and pink), blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, peppers (red and green), tomatoes, broccoli, sunflower seeds, almonds and olive oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids: ground flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, soybeans and pumpkin seeds.

Folic acid: green leafy vegetables (turnip, mustard greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, cabbage, etc), beans, legumes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, beets, etc..

6. Music

Play your favorite music is a great method to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Individual preference in music determines which types of soothing sounds are best for reducing stress, blood pressure, and promote a sense of tranquility. Pay attention to how you feel when you hear a song or music genre, and keep listening to those that produce a relaxing effect.

7. The dream

Getting enough sleep has a profound impact on their levels of stress, immune function and disease resistance. Chronic lack of sleep can make you feel weak, irritable, prone to accidents, forgetful, and have difficulty concentrating or to address the problems of everyday life. Long-term sleep loss can also result in heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression and anxiety. It is during sleep when your body and immune system repair and rejuvenate. Try to sleep 7-8 hours every night. Remember rest and relaxation go hand in hand.

8. Positive Thoughts

Optimism can counteract the negative impact of stress and anxiety, and get to have a strong immune system and make you feel good. It is often how we perceive things that determines whether you are left confused, mentally and physically. Having a positive attitude, look for the good in life and look on the bright side of things and people increase their ability to effectively manage stress.

9. Drinking tea

Drinking tea regularly throughout the day can help strengthen your immune system and the body's ability to fight germs and infections. Both green and black teas contain a beneficial acid L-theanine, which can increase the ability to fight the infection of gamma delta T cells. The l-theanine also promotes a feeling of relaxation, calm and well being, influencing the release and concentration of neurotransmitters (like dopamine, serotonin and GABA) in the brain.

10. Hydrotherapy

Relaxing in a hot bath relieves sore muscles and joints, reduces stress and tension and promotes restful sleep. Add some soft music, soft lighting and scented bath salts or bubble bath foam to create a spa experience for cheap and effective privacy without leaving home.

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