Train Your Immune System For Stress Reduction
- 4 mins read
- Written by: Dr. Jatin Bhide
Diet and exercise strengthens the immune system. But there is something even more powerful that modifies our immune health in a better way: achieving optimal mental health.
We know about the power of diet and exercise in our effort to strengthen the immune system. But there is something even more powerful that modifies our immune health in a better way: Achieving optimal mental health.
The basis of this belief strongly lies in the fact that our brain is very closely connected to every organ of our body, especially the immune system. It may seem a bit odd to understand how our brain is directly linked to the vital organs but think of it for a moment: Have you ever had a gut feeling about something? Sometimes our thoughts manifest in other organs like – we have an uncomfortable feeling in our stomach when something bad is about to happen.
The premise for mind-body medicine is that our mental state influences physical health. Though it is unknown how it exactly happens, evidence suggests that our brain and nervous system influence immune function.
Understanding mind-body practices
Our body gets a healthy kick start with practices that include mental focus, meditation, and controlled body movements. These techniques help to improve the overall immune function. Some of them include:
- Starting your day with yoga
Yoga, unlike other forms of exercise, focuses on certain parts of the body. It helps lower stress hormones that compromise our immune system. It also boosts our lungs and respiratory health. It stimulates our body’s drainage system to remove toxins and brings oxygen to different organs to promote optimal health.
- Spirituality – To bring out the healthier you
There is a growing amount of research that shows the relationship between spirituality and immune health. It is presumed that spirituality improves immune health by enhancing one’s ability to cope with stress, resulting in better health outcomes.
- Mindful meditation– Taking your seat to relax
It represents a process of cultivating mindfulness in daily life with sustained practice. It is most commonly understood as an awareness that emerges through paying attention to a particular thought and being in the present moment.
- Grabbing a healthy plate
Eating a healthy diet is required for building immune cells. Certain diets prepare the body for fighting infection. Each stage of the body’s immune response relies on various nutrients that stimulate immune health.
- Healing with the power of music
At the core, the sounds of music are rooted in vibration. Listening to and playing music increases the body’s antibody production and natural killer cells(immune cells in our body). Music also reduces the stress hormone – cortisol.
- Immersing in nature
Spending time in nature, looking at plants, birds, water, and other natural aspects gives a break to the intellectual part of our brain and enhances our ability to be patient.
- Be kind to yourself
The mindful practice of paying attention to the present moment helps control the racing, repetitive thoughts that lead to stress. An open attitude leads to a greater acceptance of things that are happening around us. It also helps us to tolerate tough situations and reduces negative thinking.
- Try stopping
STOP is an important way of being mindful while facing stress. Following these 4 steps can help stop triggering moments:
- Slow down
- Take a deep breath
- Observe other possibilities
- Proceed considering multiple options
Practicing this technique in small moments will help develop skills to serve you well for more challenging times.
- Paying attention protects you
All the body-mind techniques train the mind to focus, develop concentration, and reconnect with our body. You’ve got to find the one that works for you. Keep a few minutes in a day to at least get started. Maintaining a regular mindful practice will go a long way in enhancing your emotional and physical well-being.
With these tips in your pocket, we’re sure you can handle stress more effectively and condition your body for a better immune response.
Read More: Can Stress Cause Liver Damage?
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- Wahbeh H. et al. Mind-body medicine and immune system outcomes: A systematic review. Open Complement Med J. 2009;1:25–34.
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