Stay Healthy – Learn How to Reduce Stress and Inflammation Naturally

Did you know excess stress can lead to inflammation in your body? You see, when you get stressed, perhaps due to a stay-at-home situation, your body goes into the “Fight or Flight” situation. It gears up for a fight to protect you from something or gets ready to flee from impending danger.

It is during this time your body begins to suppress non-emergency-related activities like the immune system and digestion. As this is happening, your body is releasing the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone. During times of stress your adrenal glands releases the hormone into your blood to travel throughout your body.

As it goes around your body it helps to fuel the production of glucose, which is blood sugar. This helps to provide energy to your muscles that getting ready to “fight or flight”. In addition to charging up your large muscles, the excess cortisol shrinks and narrows arteries and inhibits insulin production. This combination of extra energy and narrowing arteries causing your blood to pump harder.

In addition to the cortisol, another hormone, adrenaline is also released during times of stress. This tells your body to get ready for any upcoming situation. Your heart begins to pump faster, your breathing increases, expanding oxygen to push more into your muscles.

Finally, your immune system begins to decrease the production of white blood cells, so the immune system is slowing. Thus, providing energy to the “fight or flight” systems.

This is all a natural response, however the “fight or Flight” response is only meant to be short-term. It’s when you always in the chronic state of stress and worry is when this natural response can lead to chronic health problems. One of those problems is chronic inflammation.

What is Chronic Inflammation?

Inflammation is natural and normal. Your body uses inflammation and heat to fight off foreign invaders such as bacteria, uric acid crystals for gout and viruses. When your body becomes inflamed, it sends out chemicals called pro-inflammatory cytokines.

The missions of these tiny fighters are to combat the invaders and then disappear. However, if you are in a constant state of stress, thus causing a constant state of inflammation.

It’s during this time the pro-inflammatory cytokines workover time. They don’t get a chance to take a break. Over time, inflammation causes negatives effects on the body.

It is vital to keep inflammation to a minimum in your body.

Here is a brief list of chronic conditions linked to stress:

#1: Rheumatoid Arthritis: It is known inflammation is the cause of RA. Over time, inflammation can damage bones and joints. The inflammation commonly found in individual with RA can be linked back to pro-inflammatory cytokines.

#2: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): This is inflammation-linked conditions in the gastrointestinal system. During times of excess stress, many people may be experiencing this health condition.

#3: Depression: Research shows pro-inflammatory cytokines may can trigger depressive symptoms in some people. As these hormones are released, it can lead to fatigue, bad moods and a lack of everyday enjoyment of life.

How to Reduce Stress and Decrease Inflammation During a Stay-at-Home Situation

Drink Cherry Juice Daily:

Michigan-grown, Montmorency cherries naturally contain inflammation-fighting anthocyanins. These naturally occurring flavonoids act similar to Cox-1 and Cox-2 inhibitors. They help to block pain signals and inflammation naturally. It takes to juice of approximately 100 cherries to make just one ounce of the cherry juice concentrate. Simply mix the one-ounce of concentrate with 7-ounces of water to make a 8-ounce glass of 100% pure cherry juice.

Also, check out dried cherries, too. They are great to add to your morning cereal or toss some dried cherries in a salad.

Journal and Meditate Daily:

In the June 16 edition of the Psycho Neuro Endocrinology Journal published a study that found those who journaled daily and meditated enjoyed significantly lower levels of cortisol, stress and worry.

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