Coping with stress and mono

What is stress? As a sufferer, you may feel stressed trying to cope with every day activities, work and relationships.

Stress is a common response to prolonged sickness.  However, studies show that feeling stress for long periods of time can have a very negative impact on your body and general health. Raised stress and anxiety levels have a direct impact on the immune system.

When we experience stress, such as that caused by prolonged illness, our bodies respond by going into overdrive. Activity in the nervous system increases and adrenaline is released into the bloodstream.

The adrenal glands send the hormone Cortisol to the body to provide more energy. These mechanisms are useful for short term stress, but in situations of chronic and long term stress, they can undermine long term health.

Tips for living with stress

Support groups - there are many support groups available for mono sufferers. You don't even need to leave the house, as you can join mono forums and chat rooms on the internet. This helps you connect with others and share your experiences in a supportive environment.

Relaxation - stress levels can be lowered using relaxation techniques. At times of stress, exercises can be practiced that promote calm and relaxation. Some people find that repeating a mantra during down-stressing exercises is helpful.

Keep a Journal -writing about feelings and experiences can help to reduce stress. It's a healthy emotional response to express your feelings, especially as many people feel anger and resentment about their illness.

Exercise -it can be hard to feel motivated to exercise when you are feeling unwell, however it has been medically proven to be a stress buster. Even small amounts of gentle exercise such as walking can be helpful. While you exercise, try to focus on positive thoughts.

Music - listen to music as a tool for reducing stress. It's an activity that can be done anywhere; sitting, lying down or walking. Pick relaxing music and practice breathing techniques while you are listening.

Laughter - this simple technique is very effective. Laughter triggers a release of endorphins from the brain. This helps not only as a stress buster but also works as a natural painkiller. So read a funny book, watch a comedy or spend time with a funny friend and it will help you reduce your stress levels.





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