This week Christians around the world are celebrating Easter week. The word Easter means “resurrection day” – the anniversary of the day Jesus rose in triumph from the grave, claiming victory over death. This resurrection is an important part of a Christian’s faith.
This fact is important because a person’s religious faith – Christian or other – is vital in overcoming stress.
The purpose of this blog site is to provide guidance of how you can restore the health of your immune system. A healthy immune system will attack and defeat cancer. A healthy immune system will keep you healthy!
The medical community is seriously concerned about the potential of an oncoming pandemic. Antibiotics are becoming less effective against new and more powerful strains of bacteria and viruses. The health of your immune system is increasingly crucial.
A proven cause of suppressing the immune system is chronic stress.
Why does stress cause immune dysfunction?
Extensive research has validated the mind-body connection. Stress causes the hormone cortisol to be secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol is called “the stress hormone” because, when faced with a danger or threat, it is secreted during the body’s “fight or flight” response. Your adrenal glands kick in and you get a quick burst of energy. Then, when the danger is past the body relaxes and cortisol levels return to normal.
However, if stress is chronic – caused by ongoing worry, fear, and anxiety – there are prolonged elevated levels of cortisol in the bloodstream. You become more or less stuck in a perpetual stress response. Your subconscious responds to stress by a continued release of stress hormones. This prolonged chronic stress has negative effects such as:
- Lowered immunity
- Increased fatigue
- Suppressed thyroid function
- Higher blood pressure
- Increased sugar in the bloodstream
- Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a number of health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, development of metabolic syndrome, higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL)
Studies have shown that people who secrete higher levels of cortisol in response to stress also tend to eat more food, and food that is higher in sugars..
There are many stress management techniques to relieve stress and to aid the body and mind in maintaining healthy cortisol levels. At the top of the list is to rely on your religious faith.
Faith is the antidote for stress causing fear, worry, and anxiety. For the Christian, faith is believing that God is in charge of all things and that you can rely on him to do what is eternally best for each of us. It is this faith that brings “a peace that passes all understanding.” It brings a peace of mind that dissipates stress.
If you do not have this faith, a faith that can stand against all manner of stress, you can be assured you can count on the unconditional promise of Jesus, who is celebrated this Easter week.
He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
These two verses have brought relief from stress to untold millions of people. I am not a theologian, however this is my understanding of what is being said. Jesus is offering a two-part invitation to enter into a relationship with you. The first part is an unconditional promise of comfort and relief. When life reaches a point where you are burdened with despair, frustration, and a sense of hopelessness – when night after night you are unable to get any relief or escape (rest) from worry – then you are invited to “come to me.” He is saying, talk to me and I will give you a respite, a relaxing moment, whereby you are able to escape from your anxiety.
Then, “take my yoke.” In other words, he says, walk with me for awhile and get to know me and consider following my way of life, and I will give you a peace that passes all understanding – an inner calm no matter what your circumstance.
Protect your immune system. Find relief from stress through your faith.