Stress, Sinuses and Your Immune System
Written By: Tamara
July 18, 2011
The Stress and Sinus Immune Connection
Emotional stress is probably the single most important factor in determining whether you will experience chronic sinus problems, sinus infections or sinusitis. Why you might ask? Stress lowers our body’s immune response, or can make our immune system hyperactive (so that it over-reacts to environmental or internal stimulus). Consequently, we have a weakened defense against pathogens and infections.
Do you ever wonder why you are more prone to congested sinuses or a sinus headache when you are under stress? Stress, especially in women, can lower our breathing rate or cause us to hold our breath; when our breathing rate lowers, our oxygen saturation falls and can cause sinus congestion. Many times we wonder why when two people are exposed to a cold or flu, one person gets sick and the other doesn’t. One of the underlying reasons can be that the person who is unable to fight off the cold is under more stress and their immune system is compromised.
Recent discoveries in mind-body medicine have found a wealth of information on the impact of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and stress on our immune system and overall health. Since stress is a component of life, how do you relieve stress and bolster your immune system?
We would like to offer some holistic tips for managing stress in your life, so you have the ability to be more balanced, grounded and vital:
- Be mindful of your breathing when you are under stress, make a mental note to breathe deeply and slowly especially when under stress.
- If you have a tough time regulating your breathing while under stress, try a game such as Wild Divine, a biofeedback game to help positively enforce deep, relaxed and gentle breathing.
- Remember to take care of yourself first (this is a big one for women, who tend to care for others first), and realize that by taking care of ourselves we set a good example to our families and coworkers. The bonus, we also have more to give when we nurture ourselves first.
- Make a list of all the activities that make you happy and make sure that you participate in at least one of these a day.
- Meditation is proven to lower stress levels and improve your immune system, which helps your sinuses stay healthy. 15 minutes a day of slow breathing can make all the difference in the world to your well-being.
- Hot tubs, foot soaks, massage; finish the list yourself of activities that relax you and de-stress your life.
- A gratitude list is a wonderful way to focus your mind on the positive in life and help your immune system at the same time. Remember what we focus on increases in our life.
- Daily neti pot use helps keep your sinuses in good health and aids your body in flushing toxins from your sinus cavities.
- When you have been under stress remember to use your Sinus Rejuvenation Oil regularly to help support your body’s healthy sinus function.
- Walking and exercise help to release endorphins sunset in your body, which in turn bolsters your immune system. Exercise tends to lower your stress response and keeps your body healthy at the same time.
- Deep breathing or exercise helps increase the oxygen in your body which can help support a healthily metabolism.
Check out the Baraka education section for more hints on using your neti pot, infused salt and sinus oil to help maintain your sinus health. Share with us on Facebook about what helps you when stress increases in your life, how do you de-stress?