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压力和免疫系统

2013-04-02 09:47

Stress and the Immune System

压力和免疫系统

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to offer sympathy to someone experiencing a problem.

NEWSCASTER: Picture this situation. You might recognize it. It's exam time. You've been cramming for weeks. You're ready.

NEWSCASTER1: You walk confidently into the exam hall, two ballpoint pens and a sharpened pencil at the ready. You feel confident. In fact, you're not stressed out at all. Your body and mind are one hundred per cent focused on passing this exam. And you sail through it!

NEWSCASTER2: Three hours later, you walk out of the exam hall on cloud nine, absolutely sure you're gonna get an "A". Even better, tomorrow you'll be lying on a beach on a tropical island, your gift to yourself for all the hard work you've just done. And then what happens? The next day, instead of lying on a tropical beach, you're lying in bed with a fever. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you got sick.

NEWSCASTER3: Isn't that just typical? After all that hard work, now, when it's time to relax, you've caught the flu! Why does this happen? Well, it doesn't just affect students who've been studying hard for an exam. If you've just completed a big project at work, competed in a sports event after training for months, got married or even just moved house, you're possibly at risk.

NEWSCASTER4: What happens is when you're really busy for a period of time, your immune system steps up to help you get through it. However, after you've finished whatever it was you were doing, and you're now getting ready to take a break, your immune system goes on holiday. A part of your brain called the hypothalamus sends a signal to your immune system. Something like: 'Okay guys, work's done here, take a break'. So, just as you want to relax and have a good time, your immune system disappears for a while.

NEWSCASTER5: And that leaves you at risk of catching whatever viruses or illness is going around. So what can we do about it? Well, it's believed that what causes the immune system to disappear is the force of the change that takes place. Think about it: your body is working at maximum capacity for months and months and then, suddenly, stops. One way to deal with this sudden lifestyle change is to make the change less sudden.

NEWSCASTER6: In other words, just wind down. Instead of going from flat out busy to vegging out on the beach, slow down in stages. Don't be afraid to catch up on your sleep after months of hard work. But don't lie around all day. It's believed that both physical and mental exercise can help the winding down process, so go for a jog or do the crossword to keep body and mind stimulated.

NEWSCASTER7: And when you do go on holiday, don't just go to the beach to sunbathe. Be active! Do stuff! Then step-by-step, slow down a little bit more, then a little bit more... and then.

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