This is not a new idea, but it's often understated or underestimated and often misses out on adequate attention in the treatment cycle.
I have been collecting literature on this topic for years but recently found an interesting article which describes it pretty succinctly here.
Stress can affect our ability to protect ourselves from illness and our ability to heal. While not all stress is bad, the ongoing assault of chronic stress or persistent daily stress is more impactful than most people realise.
"...Chronic stress has a significant effect on the immune system that ultimately manifest an illness. It raises catecholamine and suppressor T cells levels, which suppress the immune system. This suppression, in turn raises the risk of viral infection. Stress also leads to the release of histamine, which can trigger severe broncho-constriction in asthmatics.
Stress increases the risk for diabetes mellitus, especially in overweight individuals, since psychological stress alters insulin needs.
Stress also alters the acid concentration in the stomach, which can lead to peptic ulcers, stress ulcers or ulcerative colitis.
Chronic stress can also lead to plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis), especially if combined with a high-fat diet and sedentary living.
The correlation between stressful life events and psychiatric illness is stronger than the correlation with medical or physical illness. The relationship of stress with psychiatric illness is strongest in neuroses, which is followed by depression and schizophrenia.
There is no scientific evidence of a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the immune system changes and the development of cancer. However, recent studies found a link between stress, tumour development and suppression of natural killer (NK) cells, which is actively involved in preventing metastasis and destroying small metastases."
Arguably stress is not always avoidable... however we can learn techniques to shield ourselves from some stressors, we can improve our ability to self regulate and recover better through others... and we can make sure we support ourselves physically with good nutrition and mentally with adequate emotional or psychological support and connection. Eat plenty of nourishing food and try to limit “stress eating” junk food, which puts further strain on your body and can cause further inflammation.
Sometimes in life, there are times we need to hold on, to "vasbyt" (a great Afrikaans term which kind of means "endure") and push through stress because it's necessary or temporary or because there's something worth holding onto, and sometimes there will be times when it becomes necessary to "let go" or change something big, because your health will require it.
Sometimes our desire or need to be in control needs to be soothed by acceptance of circumstances outside of our control, and a redirection of energy to embrace other opportunities, consider other options or to recover and renew and regroup. Happiness and contentment can be found in many different places, as can success, and fulfillment and hope.
Consider: “what’s causing you stress”, and “is there anything you can change”, and “where you can get support”, also look for little ways you can support yourself through it like getting more sleep, spending time in nature, eating nourishing food and talking to friends and family.