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Stress can happen due to many reasons. This
can be classified into acute or chronic stress. Acute stress means it is only
short term. For example, stuck in a traffic jam, missing a bus or writing a
1000-word essay for only a day. However, for chronic stress, it is long term.
It can happen when the examples I listed above happen continuously. This will
constantly stress a person out so acute stress can evolve into chronic stress. Stress
can usually affect people more in the city area compared to people living at the
rural area. This is because people who are in the city area has a busier
lifestyle due to over working or studying. One country that has a high rate of
dying due to over working is Japan. Living in the city has also a higher level
of pollution and noise which can also contribute to the stress level of the
people. Sometimes, places with high traffic can also cause stress to people
because they cannot get to the places they need to go on time.

 

The immune system is very important to the
body because it protects the body and get rid of any foreign object that tries to
attack the system. So how does stress affect the immune system? People with
high stress level causes the immune system to go down, this is because when a
person is stress, it raises the cortisol level which will cause inflammation of
the immune system. The immunity is separated into 2 types. One that is natural
generalised immunity which is a general defence against pathogens which
includes T cells. T cells help to destroy cells that harms the body. It can
also kill cells that are cancerous. Thus, when someone is stress and has low
immunity, the number of t cells in the body will be reduced and that individual
will be at risk of developing sickness like cancer. The second type of immunity
is specific humoured immunity which produces antigens to fight viruses,
bacteria and toxins. The difference between these 2 cells is that t cells
target the outside of infected cells while b cells target on the surface of the
infected cells.

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High stress levels can also cause people to
feel more depressed and they would rather not socialise and go out with their
friends and family members. When they isolate themselves, they will also tend
to keep their worries and problems to themselves. This will lead to increased
stress level because they are not able to express their thoughts freely or seek
advice from anyone. Thus, they will over think and lead to anxiety as well.
This over loads the immune system which will be unable to protect the body if
this situation continues in the long run. One disease that attacks the immune
system is HIV. This virus attacks the cells of the immune system and cause it
to be defective, thus not being able to protect the body from infections. If
medication is not taken, HIV can evolve to AIDS which can eventually lead to
death.

 

Fortunately, there are many easy ways to reduce
stress level. By reducing stress levels, the immune system will also improve.
One way to reduces stress level is by exercising. Exercising improves overall
health by reducing stress and this will help a person to sleep better. By
having sufficient sleep, the body can repair the damages in the body more
efficiently, thus the immune system will be able to rest as well. Another way is
to seek a counsellor or someone you trust to tell them about the problems you
are facing. When you share your problems with someone you trust, you will not
feel alone and will be able to think positively because there will be more
solutions given to you. Lastly, plan a short getaway. This helps because you
can be temporarily away to clear your thoughts, reorganise your life and set
your priorities right. So, when you come back from the getaway, you will be able
to face the problems in a more positive manner.

 

In conclusion, stress is inevitable in our
lives. Everyone will face stressful situations during the different stages of
our lives be it marital, financial or social reasons. However, if we know how
to handle and cope with it, it will not lead to the breakdown of our immune
system which in turn will lead to chronic diseases. There are times where I
feel stressed out as well, especially during examinations but the more stress I
am, the less productive I get. I learnt to take things easy, and plan a
schedule of which module to study on which day so that I will not over work. Most
importantly, I feel that it is not worth to harm our lives especially when we know
there are ways we can prevent it. 

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