Allergies and Stress: My Top 5 Techniques for Relief
Last updated: July 2022
Stress is something everyone inevitably deals with. It is one of the many commonalities of this human experience. Understanding how much stress impacts people with allergies and other chronic conditions and how much havoc it can wreak on our immune systems is essential.
Stress management tools
Just being aware that stress can be a culprit is half the battle. Once we are aware, we can work to at least manage it to the best of our abilities. We may not be able to choose what happens to us with allergies, chronic health conditions, or just life in general, but we can choose how we react to it.
Having an allergy and navigating life with multiple allergies can be challenging and stressful. We never know where another threat might lie. Life feels like a minefield much of the time.
1. Therapy and counseling
I have been in therapy for a long time and am not ashamed to say it. I believe everyone could benefit from therapy. Stress permeates every part of our culture and affects us to varying degrees.
Having someone to talk to who is not directly involved in your life and has no bias is helpful. Therapy can initially be a bit awkward for some folks; I've had my awkward moments! However, once you get used to it and build a trusting relationship with a therapist or counselor, your therapy sessions will become natural, like brushing your teeth!
2. Meditation and mindfulness
Admittedly, it took me years to get behind this technique and stick to it. I had heard of the benefits of meditation for years and tried to cultivate a practice. But it just didn't work for me.
Finally, I decided to truly commit to it and make meditation a daily habit. I have to say, I had all the wrong ideas about meditation and how "difficult" it seemed. It can be straightforward.
I have meditated daily for nearly 2 years, and I find it helps with my stress levels. Of course, I still deal with stress. There will never be a point where it entirely disappears; it's part of life. However, now I have more control over my reaction to stress. Over the years, I've learned to know myself well enough to recognize my limits and triggers. I now have a "toolbox" of techniques to use when my stress feels unbearable.
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy is a technique that I've found incredibly helpful when I least expected it. This method is somewhat new to me but has been fascinating to be involved in.
In less than a year, I have gotten better results regarding healing trauma and triggers than I have in over a decade of regular talk therapy. Still, I do both, as I believe both have benefits.
Making a habit of journaling can be pretty annoying, to be honest. Everyone is constantly talking about it, and that sometimes deters us from doing it even more. But all the talk is for a good reason.
Getting all of your feelings, thoughts, ideas, and even just having a brain dump session on paper can be very cathartic. The more we get the "stuff" out of our heads and our systems, the more room and energy we have within to continue to heal.
5. Yoga and exercise
I've never been much of a cardio or hardcore exercise person, but I love yoga. I find it incredibly relaxing, grounding, and I'd even say life-changing. There are so many health benefits of practicing yoga regularly.
For someone who has had a lot of traumas in life and deals with many different physical symptoms, I have a habit of dissociating often. So, learning to get into my body and be present and mindful has been an ongoing practice and one of the most important, in my opinion.
Stress and the immune system
Stress can cause our immune system and entire body to go haywire and can thus exacerbate allergy symptoms as well. When dealing with allergies or any other health condition, and even just in daily life, it is crucial to keep stress levels to a minimum.
All parts of us, the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual, are interconnected, and it is essential to tend to each one.
How often do you connect with others who have food allergies?