If you want to reduce the effects of allergies, you need to breathe because, according to a study conducted by the Ohio State University College of Medicine, stress increases inflammatory proteins, which makes the situation worse. The study involved people who spoked in public and were pricked with an allergen prior to the event. Those people who were moderately anxious developed allergic bumps 75 percent larger than the bumps they displayed during calm situations. Therefore, researchers noted, if someone is under stress when allergies start, the allergy attack is more likely to be persistent and severe, and, to make the situation worse, it can undermine the immune system at the cellular level.
To beat your allergy symptoms, one of the best ways may be to reduce stress, so, here are seven great stress busters:
- Exercise. Exercise doesn’t just get you skinny, it’s also a great way to cope with stress because the byproducts of stress remain in your system long after the stress has passed. Exercise may remove these byproducts, and it may help the body reach homeostasis quicker.
- Find a Mantra. If you’re stressed accentuate the positive rather than focus on the negative. One way to do this is to find a positive mantra and use it every day. Author, holistic healer, and inspirational leader, Louise Hay, suggests two stress-reducing mantras in her book You Can Heal Your Life: 1) I am at peace and comfortable in every area of my life. I am strong and capable. 2) Joy. Joy. Joy. I lovingly allow joy to flow through my mind and body and experience.
- Laugh. You’ve heard the old saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” Well, that saying has taken on a whole new meaning. A doctor from India name Madan Kataria, known as the “Guru of Giggling,” developed laughter yoga in 1995. He discovered it didn’t matter if laughter was real or simulated because people who did it improved their physical and psychological health. So, to alleviate stress just laugh. If you’re interested in learning more about laughing yoga, read Is Laughter the Best Medicine?
- Learn Strategies. People who cope with stress are not necessarily stronger or smarter. However, what they are is better educated in how to handle stress, and they have tools to deal with stress. You can learn stress-dealing strategies too. For instance, in the CD Stress: What It Is, How to Beat It you learn how to reduce your stress with simple breathing techniques, deep relaxation, and creative problem-solving through guided imagery. These techniques can help you stay more relaxed no matter what your circumstances.
- Relax. One of the easiest ways to relax is to take three slow, deep breaths. Then tighten your legs and feet, and relax them. Tighten your arms and hands, and then relax them. Raise your shoulders to your ears, and let them drop. Close your eyes tight, and then open them. Now, take three more slow deep breaths.
- Talk to Someone. When someone is upset or stressed out, things can seem hopeless. Talking to a friend, a spouse, or a co-worker can often help get things back into proper perspective. When you have an understanding friend, you usually feel better and you discover things aren’t as bad as you thought.
- Turn Off the TV. Television is actually known to raise blood pressure, and with images of famines, wars, disasters, rapes, and murders, who wouldn’t be stressed.
Health problems can be exacerbated by stress, and allergies are just one example. However, you may be able to deal more effectively with stress by exercising, repeating mantras, laughing, learning strategies, relaxing, talking to someone, or just turning off the TV. So, why not give these tips a try, and see if taking a proactive approach doesn’t help reduce your allergy problems the next time.