In a world where our immunity is being challenged by both an environment and a food chain that are increasingly toxic, we need help. The immune system is charged with helping our body fight off anything invasive or harmful. Our skin is defense number one. With the state of health in our communities these days, we need our bodies to be strong and capable of creating a biological barrier to viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and toxins, and anything else that could interfere with our body’s healthful functioning.
Indeed, there are a plenty of foods, supplements, and lifestyle changes that are touted as powerful “immune boosters.” These include vitamin C, Maitake mushrooms, colloidal silver, garlic, sleep, and exercise and a lot more. But physical interventions aren’t the only ways to
strengthening your immune system. That’s the good news.
Here are 3 Powerful Mind-Body Keys to strengthening your immune system that supports us on metabolic, emotional and spiritual levels:
1. Acknowledge that you have an emotional immune system.
Our emotional immune system is how we manage the flow of emotions that come from us, and come to us from others. It’s how we regulate the emotions in our system. For example, do we hang on to them too long, do we let anger toxify us, or do we let the judgments of others land deep in our hearts. Stepping into the care of our emotional immune system not only supports our emotional health, it also positively impacts our biological immune system. And the link between emotional health and physical health is stress.
When stressed, our body produces more stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, and these hormones actually work to suppress our immune system, as they reduce our bodies’ ability to fight off invaders. This can cause or contribute to a long list of physical and emotional challenges.
So, when we learn to protect ourselves against the ungenerous opinions of others, and when we learn to let go of emotions or judgements in our own being that no longer work for us, we become stronger on every level.
2. Say “no” to what doesn’t serve you:
Saying “no” to what doesn’t serve you means creating emotional boundaries. Emotional boundaries are akin to putting up a sign that says “no solicitors”. It’s a form of psychic and physical protection.
When choosing to create emotional boundaries by saying “no” to the things that don’t serve you, know that what doesn’t support you may look different than what friends and family may say “no” to. For some, this means saying no to social engagements that don’t feel nurturing, for others it may mean letting go of toxic relationships, and for another, it may mean saying no to obligations that you might normally say “yes” to.
These emotional boundaries help to educate us about our emotional center, and can help us from absorbing someone else’s guilt, blame, shame or any feeling that isn’t ours. In the same way that we don’t want to catch someone else’s cold, we also don’t want to take on someone else’s unhealthy emotional experience.
3. Say “yes” to what truly gives you pleasure
Saying yes more often to what truly gives us pleasure and happiness creates an internal state of relaxation. Relaxation in turn lowers the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and allows our immune system to do its job of protecting our body.
Looking for more pleasure in our lives and saying “yes” to it with enthusiasm also benefits us on the emotional immune system level because whenever we stay tuned to pleasure, we align ourselves with the things that make us happy and give us joy. And these are very powerful life medicines!
In fact, looking for pleasure in our life is a profound act on it’s own as it helps us to become aware of what nourishes us in life. And fundamentally, when we step into true nourishment – be it with food, movement, healthy relationships, a strong spiritual life, or work we love – we are also contributing to a strong and healthy immune system.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
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