Have you ever felt stressed out, lonely or just not yourself? And then you came down with something? Psychologists in the field of “psychoneuroimmunology” have shown that state of mind affects one’s state of health.
Studies have shown that short term and long term stress—from a few days to a few months or years, as can happen in life—all aspects of immunity went downhill. Chronic stress is particularly impactful, through long term wear and tear, and can severely weaken the immune system.
Stress causes the body to produce the stress hormone cortisol. In short spurts, cortisol can boost immunity by limiting inflammation. Over time, as with chronic stress, the body becomes accustomed to increased levels of cortisol which results in more inflammation. Chronic inflammation can contribute to the development and the progression of many diseases of the immune system such as arthritis, lupus and psoriasis. In addition, under sustained, long term stress, the body can also develop cardiovascular problems and have a greater risk for diabetes, various cancers, mental decline.