Emotions and health are directly related. They really are. One cannot expect to feel fantastic, powerful and strong when they’re distraught or fighting depression. These feelings take so much energy away from producing a better quality of life, and for promoting emotional health and well being. If negative emotions continue and persevere in the mind, sickness and ill health will occur.
Too many studies have shown that just the act of thinking a negative thought can impact your immune system by inhibiting the good disease fighting cells to proliferate. The build up of negative thoughts inevitably leads to stress, as does balancing a career with family and friends, and just life itself. Stress and the immune system have been clearly documented to have a direct link to our health.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that those who were more pessimistic, or had “negative brain activity” responded worse to flu vaccines, and showed their immune systems to be hindered. Flu vaccines work by eliciting an immune response, which didn’t happen as strongly in the pessimistic group of people.
Negative thoughts and emotions lead to a lowered immune system, keeping one from completely optimizing their health prevention goals. To be completely healthy can’t only rely on diet or exercise–emotional factors exist as well. Balancing these ensures that you are one step closer to becoming healthy, and preventing any dis-ease in your body later on.
What are the best ways to relax, fight stress and negative emotions/thoughts and build up your immune system? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Exercise. I said that you can’t just rely on exercise and diet, but this tool can really help you fight depression, stress and negative emotions. By exercising your body, you are focusing your mind on a task at hand, keeping you from thinking any ill or negative thoughts which hamper your immune system.
Exercise also brings up your endorphin (feel good hormone) and serotonin levels in your brain and body and brings up your immune system at the same time. Click here to read about the valuable benefits of exercise.
My favorite stress management exercises are yoga and interval cardio. Yoga incorporates deep breathing, which cleanses and detoxifies the body and the mind, and interval cardio gets your heart pumping and your endorphin levels rising.
- Meditation/Self-Hypnosis. These are my favorite stress management techniques, after exercise. Meditation is a relaxed state of body, with the intent of clearing the mind. Try sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. with the goal of focusing only on your breath. Deep breathing, and connecting to your breath. is another great way to relieve stress.
Self-hypnosis is a form of meditation, but instead of clearing the mind of all thoughts, hypnosis helps you focus your thoughts. Usually you use self-hypnosis to work on a desired goal or outcome that you want to achieve in your life. A simple way to practice self hypnosis for stress management is to relax your body, connect to your breathing, and fully image yourself stress free, happy and fulfilled. Take that imagination and visualization into your day, incorporating it into your body and mind.
Some people have their own ways of relieving stress. What are little things you do for yourself that helps you blow off steam, clear your mind and promote positive emotions?
This is The Healthy Advocate.