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Will Stress Relief Lower My Risk of Catching a Cold?

Yes and no. The truth is, when it comes to colds, scientists say not all stress is created equal. For instance, experts at Carnegie Mellon University recently found that everyday stressors (the little annoyances of daily life like waiting for a train, or simply working too hard with ambitious multitasking) do not increase an individual’s odds of catching a cold. However, severe stress like the loss of a job or a divorce, have been shown to make a person more susceptible to sickness. Time also plays a part in the process. For instance, experts say the longer the period of stress, the higher the risk of ills. While no formal explanations have been currently established, experts believe the body’s stress hormone, cortisol, may monkey with our immune systems, weakening its natural sickness-fighting response to viral infections.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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