Stress and immunity has been studied extensively. The first big study on stress and immunity was conducted in the 80s on medical students. Researchers found a substantial reduction in immunity during the students’ three-day period of examinations. Test takers had fewer natural killer cells, which fight tumors and viral infections. They almost stopped producing immunity-boosting gamma interferon and infection-fighting T-cells responded only weakly to test-tube stimulation. Wow! From just a three-day exam! Since then, numerous studies have showed significant reduction in immunity when people are stressed.
The big problem with stress in our culture is that it’s considered inevitable! If it’s inevitable, if it’s just a fact of life, then there are no real ways to reduce or eliminate it. Mainstream “stress-management” strategies are just that, management. The stress is still there, it’s just managed a little bit better, maybe. There’s a better approach. My challenge to you today is this:
1. Identify the major stressors in your life. For example, let’s say your job is stressful.
2. Decide how you’d like these situations to be different. Decide how they would be such that they would not cause your as much stress (or go big and go for no stress). For example, you may decide that becoming the sales manager at your company is what you want and that in that job, you would feel much less stress than in your current job.
3. Create a plan for creating things the way you want them to be.
4. Take action.
5. Make it happen.
This applies to work, relationships, and all areas of life. If we don’t like how things are, if the way things are is stressful to us, the only way to really change things is to decide to change them, create a plan for the change, take action, and make it happen. What’s the alternative? Stay in a stressful situation and consider the stress inevitable? Deal with it? “Manage” it? The approach above will obliterate your stress. Obliterating beats management every day of the week and twice on Sunday. And it’s how we thrive, not just survive.
Remember your mantra for today: NOURISHING MOVEMENT, NOURISHING FOOD, NOURISHING LIFE.