Can stress be the root cause of your cold symptoms?
Daylight Saving Time officially ended this past Sunday and grogginess and fatigue are common side effects. Having said that, with a week nearly having passed, you should be feeling back to normal by now. However, if feeling tired and ill has become an everyday factor in your life, then there may be some very important dots to connect.
It’s very easy to look at symptoms as isolated incidents. You might think, “oh, I’m just not feeling well,” or ”I’ve just got a little hint of the flu.” But the aching muscles, sniffling nose, general fatigue, and lack of motivation can also be symptoms of stress.
Noticing patterns in your life can be far more difficult than it sounds. We often like to think that we know ourselves better than anyone else, but it can be easy to overlook how certain events and circumstances in your life—work, finances, relationships—might be adversely affecting your health.
I bring this up because Wednesday was National Stress Day in the United Kingdom, but as you know, stress is a major part of American life as well.
Addressing the Root Causes Of Stress May Help Tackle Cold and Flu Symptoms
As important as it is to treat the symptoms of stress, which I’ll address momentarily, the key to beating it is addressing its root cause.
To get a handle on your stress, it’s important to recognize the various situations in your life that are creating stress and notice the connection they might have as to why you’re feeling under the weather. Sort out what is causing stress and then categorize them into several categories (i.e. situations that you can control and actively do something about and situations that you can’t do anything about).
You might be surprised, but the things you can’t control are relatively easy to let go of. If you can’t control something, don’t let it eat at you.
For the things you can control, come up with an action plan to make them less stressful. The solution could be something as easy as coming up with a schedule, dropping a bad friend, or spending more time with good ones!
Tips To Eliminate Stress and Overcome Cold-Like Symptoms
In times when you are feeling stressed and are looking for immediate peace, there are a number of things you can do to take the edge off. Here are a few ideas you might want to consider:
- Relax: Dedicate 20 minutes per day to relax, collect your thoughts, or just spend some quiet time alone.
- Talk to a friend: Meet a friend for a drink, tea, or coffee and have some quality conversation.
- Put things into perspective: Sometimes what seems like a major problem won’t seem that significant when you look at it in comparison to other things in your life.
- Try something new: Schedule some time, once a week, to try something or go somewhere new. It could be a shop around the corner or a park across town. You can also participate in a new activity, such as hiking or joining a painting class or community group. Try something that gives you a new experience, something to look forward to and focus your attention somewhere other than the things bogging you down.
If you don’t know what’s causing your stress or how it’s affecting you, it can be very difficult to get healthy and feel any relief. For effective stress relief and stress management, try to assess your stressors and see how you can organize them in a productive, positive way.