Dr. Tim Fargo, DC of Chiropractic Health & Wellness says chronic activation of the stress response suppresses the immune function.
But what is stress? It is a combination of mental, chemical and physical stimuli that are perceived as a threat to survival. A stress-relieving strategy, Fargo says, is finding ways to fortify ourselves in all three categories.
What we consume constitutes the basic chemical building blocks our bodies have to build strong support systems and reduce stress. This means drinking lots of water. It also means avoiding additives and preservatives in foods.
“We should have a diet that is high in micronutrients like vitamins and minerals and we do that by buying lots of fresh vegetables and fruits,” says Fargo. Proven nutritional supplements, such as vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D3 are also good safeguards for healthy bodily function.
Mentally, Fargo advises people to look to influence the things within their control and accept those which are not. “If you have a mental discipline that allows you to start and continue through your day and create a better day and a better future for yourself, you should do that.”
If that’s meditation, turn to meditation more, he says. If you’re religious, practice your religion more. “Anything that creates positive feelings for us will protect us because it will lower the stress response.”
“In the physical realm, there are a host of things that can be done. I think it’s very important to stay active,” says Fargo. Luckily for Minnesotans, summer offers up a bounty of outdoor activities.
There’s no single “quick-fix” to stress, Fargo says. It takes a trifold approach to make sure you and your body’s needs are being met.