It is widely known that stress can have hostile effects on anyone´s health. Also, certain diseases seem to be triggered by stress, which is the case for autoimmune thyroiditis. Therefore, it is essential to understand what is stress and how to reduce it.
The two characteristics that stress can be described as are either, biological or psychological. In either case, stress is defined as the response carried out to confront a challenge or stressor in the environment. It is important to recognize stress as an essential mechanism used by both your psyche and your body. However, if stress persists for extended periods of time it can damage your body in numerous ways.
Even though they are presented as two distinct entities, the division between mind and body seems to disappear due to advances in science. Therefore, it is essential to reduce stress levels in both aspects biological and mental.
Reducing Biological Stress
Biological stress can be caused by infections, injuries, and other roots of disease. Reducing biological stress is fundamental in reducing the inflammatory processes in your body; therefore, it is a vital step to improving your health.
Some of the things you can do to reduce stress are getting a good night sleep, and exercise. Sleep is a fundamental aspect of any healthy individual.
During sleep, we form memories, and tissue regeneration is increased. Sleep is considered as important as water and food is to us. Sometimes one can deprive oneself of sleep in a chronic manner and get used to it; meanwhile, the cortisol (the stress hormone) levels become dysregulated and cause numerous hormonal effects across the body. Among the main effects include the dysregulation of stress-regulating mechanism in one’s body. Therefore, sleeping enough hours (depends on the person, from (6 to 14 hours) in a regular manner is especially beneficial to autoimmune thyroiditis, and overall health.
Exercise also helps patients regulate cortisol and stress levels in the body. Working out initially increases cortisol levels, and stimulates the secretions of substances that regulate the immunological function but also, exercise can help reduce weight in obese patients; which is another risk factor associated with inflammatory and stress signals.
Eating certain foods and using certain supplements can help lower biological stress. Increasing your intake of B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, protein and healthy fats, can all help with stress. Among the products that can contain these nutrients are dairy products, fatty fish and fats from nuts.
Finally, part of reducing biological stress is reducing psychological stress. The mind has tremendous effects in the human body. Inflammatory messengers are constantly secreted in psychologically stressed individuals. It is crucial to reduce both biological and psychological stress to avoid being at risk for autoimmune thyroiditis and other heretitory conditions.
Reducing Psychological Stress
Psychological stress can be caused by anything that disturbs us mentally. Work, bills, relationships, among others are possible causes of psychological stress in our daily life. One of the essential parts of reducing psychological stress, is reducing biological stress. Just like the mind can affect the body, the body can affect the mind, so it is important to take care of both.
A way to reduce psychological stress, is engaging in mindful exercises. Mindful exercise includes activities like yoga, meditation, tai chi, and other exercises which emphasize the connection between mind and body. Numerous studies have shown an association with greater mental health and stability in individuals who practice these activities.
Social interactions with others are essential for our health. When we help out one an other, we help ourselves, and in turn it can be the most effective way to reduce stress; because taking care of someone elses problems takes our mind off of our own.
Interacting with nature, can also provide relief from daily psychological stress. Hiking and /or swimming on a beach is very enjoyable because it’s relaxing, and takes our minds off of daily stresses.
In some cases it might be useful to seek professional help to reduce stress. A clinical psychologist may suggest psychotherapy and stress management techniques which help you learn how to manage stress.
In conclusion, reducing stress is an essential part of maintaining overall health. Stress can increase inflammation in the body and trigger autoimmune reactions and/or other medical conditions, therefore controlling the levels of stress will help us preserve thyroid function and overall quality of life.
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