Holiday Stress & Your Health
The holiday's can be a stressful time for many. Airplane travel, hectic shopping, and social commitments can all be sources of stress. When we are stressed, a hormone called Cortisol is produced. The more stress, the more Cortisol we have. This hormone causes our immune systems to function at a much lower level, leaving us more susceptible to illness and disease. When Cortisol levels are high, a protein called Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is decreased. This protein plays a critical role in healthy immune function. IgA protects us from pathogens.
Lower Cortisol, raise IgA
What reduces Cortisol and increase our IgA? Would you believe love, joy, and gratitude? It's true, these positive emotional states have been proven to reduce Cortisol and increase IgA. What are some easy ways to incorporate these positive human emotions, especially during the holidays? It's easier than you may think.
Creating positive emotions
One of the simplest ways to elevate a positive emotional state is through some form of thoughtful relaxation (mindfulness) or meditation. I learned the practice of Vedic Meditation over a year ago, and I have found it to be very helpful and easy to do. When the brain has a chance to relax and release stress, it's easier to create positive emotions. When you think about things, people, or places that bring you joy, happiness and gratitude, you create an elevated emotional state. When we do this every day it can produce profound results for our health and well being - not just during the holidays, but throughout the year.
In good health,
San Francisco Nutritional Therapy
Ashley Hathaway, NTP, CGP
My blogs are based on information I've learned over the past 10+ years through personal experiences, formal study, reading many books, articles and published papers, attending lectures, conferences, and various workshops.