White blood cells can detect the presence of stress hormones and react according to the levels of these hormones in the bloodstream by releasing inflammatory substances.
Natural killer cells can be blocked by stress hormones, and become passive instead of reacting to viruses or cancer cells.
Many physical diseases are actually the result of mental depression. Anxiety, bitterness, discontent, distrust, grief, remorse, guilt and unforgiveness all tend to break down the life forces. On the other hand, courage, hope, faith, sympathy and love promote health and prolong life. A contented mind and a cheerful spirit are health and strength for body and soul. Tolerance, thankfulness and benevolence, when practiced daily, may cleanse and heal the entire system.
Stress slows down all the functions that can be “put on hold,” such as digestion, tissue repair, and the immune system.
Michel de Montaigne has put it so humorously and yet so truthfully: “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” 80 to 90% of what people worry about never actually materialises. So we spend a lot of time feeling anxious when there is no need—and even if things do happen, the worry will have contributed nothing. Except perhaps an agitated state, bodily imbalance, and even ill-health. As Alfred Hitchcock said: “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” Sometimes looking at the funny side of life gives us a better perspective on things. A good sense of humour is a perfect antidote to stress and anxiety.
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