Two Steps to Less Stress, More Immunity

The competing demands for our attention continue to rise, and for most of us, that’s a stress factory. When we’re feeling fragmented, or our attention is divided, our stress levels rise. This can compromise our immunity, as well as our performance. (The simple biological reason for this is to save us from becoming a predator’s lunch; while less likely today, the functionality remains.)

Need some stress relief? Be selective and intentional

A distracted brain is an anxious brain. To mitigate the impact of a distracted brain, be selective and intentional with your time. When we’re selective and intentional, we keep our stress mechanism from firing due to information overload.

Notice your stress rising? Pause. Check in. Is your mind attempting to manage too many things at once? Are you focused on the task in front of you or is something else competing for your attention? What matters most right now? 

Straighten that out by being selective and intentional about what you’re doing or where you’re placing your attention, now. Sometimes it’s simply setting other interfering thoughts or distractions aside in order to remain on task; sometimes the situation calls for a pivot. Staying in charge of our moment-to-moment choices keeps stress in check.  

Yeah, but …

Not so simple? Take a moment to write down what’s distracting you. Notice the relief? Getting competing thoughts out of our heads onto paper calms us by giving us distance and perspective, simultaneously giving those issues a place to reside while we attend to what matters most right now.

As we become more adept at being selective and intentional about what we’re doing as we’re doing it, we experience an internal shift, too—more steadiness, less stress, healthier cells.  

Need an immunity boost? Laugh

Hands down, laughter is one of our most powerful immunity boosters and stress relievers. Laughter activates a host of powerful biochemical and physiological processes that boost our immunity, benefit our health, strengthen our hearts, relieve stress, and create connection—with ourselves and others.

I love continually seeing evidence that our physiology is designed to support us. Laughter is one brilliant aspect of our human design that is effective, enjoyable, free, easy and outperforms most other activities as both a stress reliever and immunity booster.

Here’s a little humor to get you started:

A University of Virginia law professor told a graduating class: “Three years ago, when asked a legal question, you could answer in all honesty, “I don’t know.” Now you can say, with great authority, “It depends.””

For an overview of laughter’s benefits, download this Benefits of Laugher infographic.