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10 Ways You're Weakening Your Immune System

Your immune system fights off infections for you and should therefore, be strong enough to fight off problems. But, some habits can wreak this powerful system for you.

Mental Health By Ariba Khaliq / Aug 25, 2014

How Many Sick Leaves do You Take?

Did you take the most number of sick leaves the past year? Chances are, your immune system is weak! Avoiding your collegues' sneezing and coughing and finishing a bottle of sanitizer a week will only do good for a little while. For staying truly healthy, we have to have a strong immune system. And you could be doing things that can weaken your immune system. Let’s look at some external influences that could be ruining your immune system. Image Courtesy: Getty


You are Chronically Stressed

An on-going, every day, non-stop stress takes a huge toll on your immune system. We are habitual of ignoring it but we don’t realise that continual stress can make us hypersensitised not just towards colds and flu, but also serious health problems like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Practise yoga, meditation and laughter therapy to relieve chronic stress and save your immune system. Image Courtesy: Getty


You Drive Everywhere

And don’t walk at all. You know that’s bad. Research has proven that compared with inactive people, those people who brisk walk daily, took half the sick leaves in four months. This means that if you don’t stroll a bit every day, you are at double the risk of falling sick. Experts recommend performing an aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. It pulls white blood cells into blood circulation, making your immune system function smoothly. Image Courtesy: Getty


You are Unplayful

We are sure you would have noticed this personally:when you experience positive emotions and laugh often, your stress levels decrease drastically; a bad day at work doesn’t hurt that much. In fact, researchers at Loma Linda University found an increased activity in the immune systems of adults who watched funny videos for an hour. Now you know what to do during your lunch break. Laugh a lot! Image Courtesy: Getty


You Avoid Get-togethers

Your immune system can flourish with blooming friendship. Science believes that people with fewer human connections are more likely to fall sick because their brain is filled with anxiety-causing chemicals. In fact, research has found that if you have 6 or more connections, you are four times better at fighting cold-causing viruses, as compared with your less sociable peers. Image Courtesy: Getty


You Skimp on Sleep

Of course you knew it! When you don’t sleep enough, your immune system response lowers and the immune system cells that fight off germs reduce. University of Chicago has discovered that men sleeping for four hours a night for a week produced less than half the antibodies that oppose flu, as compared with men who slept for eight hours a night. So please sleep! Image Courtesy: Getty


You Enjoy Your Antibiotics

Please understand that taking antibiotics for every sniffle or pain is not the best way to ward off illness. Frequently popping the antibiotics will make your body resistant to them over time. It also reduces the levels of hormones that send message to your immune system to take action against harmful viruses. So, while it is okay to take antibiotics for true bacterial infections and completing the prescribed dose, you must not ingest them in anticipation of becoming sick. Image Courtesy: Getty


You are a Passive Smoker

This doesn’t mean you can be an active smoker; it is to state that second hand smoke is equally bad. It gives you asthma attacks and causes premature deaths. When you smell the smoke, it goes in your body and works like how it would have had you been smoking a cigarette. Opening windows and sitting far off doesn’t help. Staying away from secondhand smoke and friends who smoke does. Image Courtesy: Getty


You Suppress Your Feelings

Avoiding fights to not cause further misery harms your immune system. Bottling up is bad; so is screaming matches. Constructive discussions about differences are important to not keeping whatever is bothering you inside. Don’t yell, don’t insult, and don’t bring up the past; focus solely on the problem at hand and talk it out. Image Courtesy: Getty


You’re a Pessimist

If you see the glass half empty, you won’t live as long as those who see the glass half full. Looking at the brighter side boosts your stress and endows better health. If you are a natural downer, look for reasons that make you feel happy or lucky and focus on them. Have a family dinnertime conversation where everyone says one good thing that happened to them that day. You will then have many reasons to be optimistic. Image Courtesy: Getty


You Don’t Carry Your Own Pens

Sounds strange? Well simply put, carrying pens around can save you from picking up infections from other people you borrow pens from. This way, you limit your hand to hand contact with things that may contain cold and flu viruses like at the bank or at the mall while signing your credit card purchase. Image Courtesy: Getty


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