So yesterday I woke up not feeling so great but didn’t think much of it, however as the day went on I slowly started to get those muscle aches we all dread during the ‘cold season’, and by the end of the night I was in the full blow fetal position with a fever, aches and congested.
This is slightly frustrating because I feel like I’m always preventing so I should never not feel great, how’s that for extreme expectations? The issue is there is stress all around us, there is toxins that put stress on our body, emotion, our environment being other people and circumstances and of course the little viruses that go around all putting an incredible amount of stress on our minds and bodies.
For the most part avoiding the common cold, or certain viruses all the time is very difficult no matter how much you prevent or how healthy a lifestyle you live. Here’s the issue though, many people head straight to the medicine cabinet when something comes up which I think is the wrong thing to do, in fact I believe conventional medicine actually keeps us ‘sicker’ for a longer period of time.
Here is my reasoning, conventional medicine meaning drugs are and were meant for treatment, which means they have nothing to do with ‘curing’ per say (especially when we’re talking about ‘cold treatments’ or drugs). They treat, reduce pain, cover up acute issues and are meant to do so in manner that you’re always taking the medicine.
This medicine wasn’t designed to gradually make you better, it was made to cover up (or treat) an issue. And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this, but I’m am saying we have the medical system slightly twisted; we go to a doctor for treatment, to take the pain away, to be diagnosed, certainly not for prevention and in most cases not to heal from the inside out.
Imagine you have a laceration or cut on your arm that’s bleeding pretty good, you go to the medicine cabinet and grab a band aid except the cut is still bleeding, so within a few minutes you’ve bled through the band aid and need another one. So you put another band aid on but again the cut is still bleeding. This is how most conventional medicine works, never really addressing the internal issue.
I hope we can all agree on some level stress causes our immune system to be worn down on many different levels, which eventually causes us to be ill. So instead of reaching to the medicine cabinet for drug or pill that is only covering up the issue at hand, why not look to some of these suggestions that will help you heal from the inside out and reduce stress on your immune system.
Tips to naturally reduce stress on your immune system:
Never miss meals
Remember Hippocrates? “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. As much as we don’t feel like eating when we’re not feeling well, it’s essential to use food as medicine.
We should be eating lighter food like fruits and vegetables that are easy on our digestion system, this is why soup is a common food request when we’re not feeling well. Just be sure to stay away from cans of soup packed with sodium, MSG, sugar and other toxins that will do the opposite of reduce stress on your immune system.
Most people don’t realize the health of our immune system lies in the gut of our stomach. If you’re often ill or aren’t feeling well on a regular basis you should really address your diet and the foods you’re consuming. Fermented foods are a fantastic way to reduce stress on your immune system. Your body can more easily absorb, digest and utilize food when consuming fermented foods on a regular basis. Some of my favorites are:
- Plant based kefir
- Raw Sauerkraut and
I’m not able to tell you how significant this tip is, far too many of us aren’t drinking water throughout the day. Given a large portion of our make is water, it’s important to keep flushing liquids in and our of our body, especially when we’re not feel well. Reduce stress on your body by helping your body get rid of unwanted toxins with filtered water. Filtered water is important because in most countries regular tap water is filled with fluoride and other toxins that are actually harmful to our health.
There are tons of research that says an orange is high in vitamin C and can improve your immune system or even reduce stress on your immune system when you’re not feeling well. Here are some other options that are higher in vitamin C that you may want to add while you’re not feeling well or even all the time.
- Camu camu is a superfood grown in Peru as a fruit however in North America we only see it in a powder form. Nonetheless, this superfood has the highest amount of vitamin C you’ll find in any one substance, which is up to 50X more than an orange pound for pound. Throw a teaspoon of Camu camu in a smoothie of even in water, mix up and drink, the bitter taste is more than worth it to reduce stress on your immune system.
- Kiwi has tons more vitamin C than an orange. I choose to eat these with a spoon or added to a fruit salad.
- Other fruits and veggies higher in Vit. C than an orange include: yellow bell peppers, kale, cooked tomatoes, broccoli and strawberries.
The top 3 teas I’d recommend to reduce stress on your immune system include:
- Ginger, lemon and honey. Local (unpasteurized) honey has properties to support your immune system. Lemon is alkalizing to the body and ginger has plenty of anti-inflammatory properties as well and is known to support the immune system.
- Reishi Mushroom tea, used as medicine in the Eastern culters for generation in my opinion should be consumed all the time instead of only when you’re trying to reduce stress on your immune system. Regardless of when you decided to use it there are more benefits than I can list on this page, improving your immune system is certainly one of them. Quick caution, it’s not the best tasting tea out there, so I’d recommend adding honey and lemon for flavor.
- And my third pic for teas to reduce stress on the immune system is Chamomile. We all know what difficult it can be to sleep when we’re not feeling well. Chamomile has natural properties to help you sleep and on top of that, it’s a natural decongestant, so enjoying some late night camomile tea while you’re not feeling well is a no brainer.
Essential oils ill help clear out your sinuses. I recommend using them in the following ways:
- in a napkin and take deep breaths in,
- in a diffuser,
- in the sink with hot water (steam) and a towel drawn over your head and sink (this was grandma’s go to).
- Or even directly under your nose, if it’s not sore from blowing so much
This is incredibly important. Your body is worn down for a reason, reduce stress, and find a way to sleep. I know this isn’t easy when you’re not feeling well but find a way to sleep (and this doesn’t mean lay in bed all day), in fact I’d discourage laying in bed if you’re not sleeping.
Sweating out unwanted toxins is a great way to reduce stress on your immune system.
- Infrared sauna would be my first choice if you have access to one.
- You can even do some light exercise to get those endorphins flowing, your lymphatic system draining to get a sweat going.
- A hot bath in some Himalayan salts is another great way to detox, sweat a little and reduce stress on your immune system
Environment is incredibly important because you want to keep your energy up (as much as possible) your mind clear and positive thoughts flowing through. At this point in your life, it’s essential to be in a positive environment so you can heal quicker by reducing stress on your immune system. It won’t do you any good by listening to dark, loud music so put something light on that will put you in a better mood.
- Watch movies that will make you laugh instead of make you cry.
- Try to avoid those people that bring you down and seem to naturally put you down.
This seems too simple to do any good but the fact of the matter is when we’re not feeling well we sit in one spot (or maybe two). Usually in our bed or on the couch because we don’t feel like moving much. Getting up and moving is important because we need to get the toxins flowing through our body and out of it. Going for a walk is a perfect way to breathe some fresh air, get your body moving and releasing toxins as well.
And don’t forget to crack a window. You’re pretty much marinating in germs as you lay surrounded by a pile of Kleenex. Crack a window, let some fresh air in, germs out and reduce stress on your immune system.
Unfortunately there is no real research that proves the Chicken Noodle soup that mom or grandma used to give us to make us feel better actually does. But here’s the kicker, it does. Unless something is harming you, and you really believe it’s helping you, it is. Use the placebo effect to your advantage, there are tons of things that makes us feel better because of a childhood memory. Our goal here is to reduce stress on our immune system and we can do that by simply putting ourselves in a better mood as I listed earlier regarding movies and music.
If the smell of roasted coffee in the morning makes you feel good then roast some coffee (I wouldn’t recommend drinking it however). As you’ll notice below there are plenty of other options higher in vitamin C than an orange, but if an oranges makes you feel better, maybe it’s the taste or maybe it’s the way it’s cut because a loved one did it for you (like grandma for me), then have yourself an orange because if you think it makes you feel better than it improving your health.
Not a glamorous topic but one worth talking about. Your body is rejecting a virus so you want to help move everything in and out as easily as possible. Given that our body needs to release and then replenish there is nothing wrong with having more than normal bowel movements when not feeling well. Getting rid of unwanted waste is important to reduce stress on your immune system.
Processed Foods and others to avoid
This one should go without saying but many people simply don’t think about their regular routines. It’s very important to stay away from products or ‘foods’ that are considered stimulants. These include:
- Refined sugar ie soda pop
- Salty processed substances
- And others similar substances
Miscellaneous or Extras
Echinacea – I’d recommend having this in liquid form up to 3 times a day when you’re looking to reduce stress on your immune system. It’s natural and has proven to be beneficial when it comes to the immune system. You can simply put drops in water and throw it back like a shot or add it to something like tea. For quick absorption leave under your tongue but I should caution you, much like the Reishi Mushroom this doesn’t taste pleasant.
Oil of Oregano – again tons of health benefits here. I would have added this to the ‘essential oils’ portion of this post but it’s so beneficial I thought it should have it’s own section. You can actually put this oil on your feet to make you feel better, rub it on your temples for a headache, breathe it in for nasal congestion, and even consume it. And to show you how powerful this oil is, it’s been proven to be able to remove those pesky warts over time.
So there you have it. I hope this post was beneficial in helping you reduce stress on your immune system. If I missed anything I’d love to hear how you naturally reduce stress on your immune system when you’re not feeling well. You can leave your message in the comments below.
And for more information on Reducing stress you can click here.