Science explains why social support is the best cure for stress

A week after surgery I came down with a cold. (She doesn’t know this yet, but I think I caught it from my mom.) I should have been happy that it was a minor cold, but when layered on top of a gimpy leg it seemed like the mother of all insults.

Yesterday, I came across this video which explains why I (and every other ACL patient) was more prone to getting sick than I might have otherwise been.

In a nutshell, stress releases a hormone in your body called cortisol. Having lots of this floating around for prolonged periods impairs your immune system. The good news is that directly counteracting the psychological and biological effects of stress is easy – spend time with people you love or enjoy spending time with! Doing so releases the hormone oxytocin into your body, which directly reduces the body’s stress response.

Although the video doesn’t touch on this, you can probably guess that spending time with sick mothers should probably be done cautiously!


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