I’ve heard many times that stress is one of the largest causes of illness. I always thought that sounded strange. Surely coming into contact with a bug, eating poorly and not exercising, not washing your hands diligently, etc. were what really caused you to catch the sniffles. This week, however, caused me to think about stress and sickness a little more.
Last week, I got stuck driving in the iciest roads I’ve ever seen. I was going 15 mph and being extra careful on the freeway and still slipping and sliding everywhere. Terrible road conditions with the added fact that it was nighttime put me in a state of panic. One of my biggest fears is getting into a bad car accident. Add to that I had just seen a movie where the premise was that a couple got into a car accident because of snowy roads and she lost her memory…. eeek.
Then the next day, I was all set for the cake decorating class I had been taking. It was the last night of class where we had to bring an iced cake ready to decorate. I had spent hours making sure my cake looked perfect, including icing it twice so it was beautiful and white and not showing any tasty red velvet crumbs. Fast forward to 15 minutes before class while waiting for my friend to pick me up… the cake carrier slides off a chair sending the cake upside down and ripping all that beautiful frosting off. Cue more panic. My friend convinced me to go to the class where all my icing bags broke and our frosting was a complete mess. Blah, at least I tried I suppose!
These disasters along with other stress led to a couple of days of not feeling so great off and on. Today it seems a full blown cold is on its way. Perhaps I did pick up a bug somewhere along the weekend, but feeling stressed and anxious is probably what hurt my immune system the most. No matter how great you eat, how much you work out and how careful you are with not touching germy items, I know that stress can break down your immune system and not give you the tools you need to fight off infections and illnesses.
So for right now I am resting, drinking a lot of liquids and doctoring myself up and hoping I feel better tomorrow and realizing I need to stay happy and stress-free. While this is definitely impossible to avoid all the time because accidents happen, things will cause me to become anxious, but I need to take a deep breath. I need to continue to do yoga and perhaps pump up my practice because I know it helps me stress less. I need to take a breath and try to laugh instead of cry when something totally annoying happens like dropping my cake.
What about you? Do you believe stress causes illness? How do you stay stress free?
To read more from Lauren (including a review of “The Vow” before it has been released… this was the movie I mentioned above), check out Lauren’s Thoughts.