How Can we Use our Emotions to Strengthen our Immunity?
We’ve all been made aware from the government guidelines what to do to help protect our physical health and that of others’. There is something else we can do. We know from a study in Australia that our immune systems start to fight Covid-19 within days https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200317103815.htm, but, we could help it in its fight.
It has been known for years that certain emotions can lower immunity New Scientist. So in the current pandemic, it’s important to think about how we can reduce the likelihood of experiencing these emotions. Any form of stress will tax the immune system. This can include intense or long-lasting sadness, anger, or anxiety. Now we can’t stop feeling these, and we don’t want to try to distract from them, so the best way to experience them is to acknowledge them, allow them, feel them in the body, and then let them go.
Sometimes this can be during a meditation practice or through a journaling session. Other times it might be a conversation with a trusted friend and then a walk or yoga practice. We can also help to boost and protect our immune system by encouraging, noticing, and allowing some of the following emotions to be.
Compassion – recognise our common humanity and shared suffering and our willingness to relieve that suffering. This was found to increase immunity Psychological Science
Optimism – notice how there are already signs of recovery in some countries and that the scientists of the world have come together to create a vaccine. Optimism has been found to improve immunity Live Science
Gratitude – if you are reading this you have access to the internet, therefore you could be grateful for the ability to stay in contact with others and receive information. Today reported on how gratitude improves immunity.
Kindness – Offer to help someone else. Volunteering to help others has been proven to help your own mental health and has a positive impact on immunity as well Dr. David Hamilton
Happiness – Try to find joy in the everyday things. Watching the birds, the sunset, the blossom on the trees. Immunity is boosted with happiness Scientific American
The mind and body are interrelated and work as one. This means that whatever we can do to support our mental wellness will benefit our physical health and vice versa. Therefore, we don’t just need to wash our hands and socially distance ourselves to protect our health, we need to actively encourage certain emotions, and discourage others, in order to give ourselves the best chance of staying safe and well.
If you want to know more about how the mind and body work in synchrony get in touch via the website www.evolve-psychotherapy.co.uk
With hope and healing