Do you also notice that many colleagues are feeling sick this period? Do you see the empty chairs around you? The flu is taking its toll.
But why are some getting sick and others not? You might be thinking, "healthy people don't get sick". Nothing could be further from the truth! A person is supposed to be sick now and then. After all, there are a lot of pathogens flying through the air and a well-functioning immune system protects us by triggering reactions that we consider 'being sick'. So actually, symptoms of illness are a sign of an effective immune system.
Influence of stress
So why do some colleagues never get sick? A lot has to do with stress. Those who are under a lot of stress have a lot of the stress hormone cortisol flowing in their veins. Cortisol helps you cope with stress, but it also suppresses your immune system. After all, when you are in danger (= stress), it is not helpful to get sick. So: the more stress, the more cortisol and the more your immune system is suppressed. So stress makes you less ill.
That doesn't mean you won't get sick. The cortisol mainly slows down your immune system. A bout of flu thus lasts not a week, but maybe two months, albeit at a low level. Or that cough that just won't go away. Others only get sick when the stress disappears completely for a while: on holiday, for instance.
Surrender to being sick
The best thing you can do when you are sick is to be sick. Surrender completely to being sick, give up work and get pampered. Above all, stay off your laptop, rest well and avoid anything that might increase your stress a fraction. That's the quickest way to get rid of it. Have you had a cold yourself recently? Caught the flu? Congratulations! Enjoy the fact that you have a functioning immune system and that your stress levels are ok.
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