Stress is cumulative. The more we live, the more we might feel that the burdens of several stressors-unless we find effective methods of releasing pressures and anxieties from our own bodies. The connection between the build-up of stress and immune system function was well-studied by science. Our body’s answers are the same if the cause of distress is real or imagined.
Whenever we’re anxious and stressed, the adrenal glands start producing the damaging hormone cortisol that’s linked to plaque formation which leads to constriction or occlusion of blood vessels. Other outcomes of continuing anxiety include muscle contraction and pain, impeded stream of hormones that are encouraging and a feeling of impending doom. The immune system reacts by restricting or shutting down its protective compound messages to manage the presumed emergency.
Since some folks live under internal stresses as a means of life, their health maintaining mechanisms can be greatly impeded. Immune function can be compromised by simply holding limiting beliefs, grudges or negative attitudes. Although we can’t effectively change each item of bad news, we can certainly participate in holding a position of hopefulness toward external events.
People, including family members, may frequently vex or irritate us, and we have to learn how to release the damaging effects of these interactions to maintain health. Most of all, we can find ways to bring calm to our own bodies and minds through our choices and goals.
- Notice your first response when something unexpected occurs. Is it anger? Is it discouragement? Is it, I’m so unlucky, this always happens to me? Can it be Hmm, How interesting? Is it, Oh great, here is something new to learn from?
- As kindly as you can, tell yourself to try something new and different such as lightly rubbing the top mid-chest with the message, Even though this has happened, I deeply and profoundly accept and respect myself.
- Release tension in the body by exhaling fully several times and by gently brushing any place in the body where you feel tightness or pressure.
- Consider new alternatives or potential solutions. Remember you’re a worthy, powerful being who has every right to select a new leadership or a new way of thinking.
- Repeat the sequence several times to increase your resourcefulness and strengthen your sense of inner power.
- Image your immune system, comprising the thymus gland, the lymph nodes and the lymph nodes that parallel blood flow patterns. See or feel them resonating with your new intention and reacting like cheerleaders. In a recent workshop in a senior center where I shared this practice, audience response at the end was enthused.
Everyone felt great and many jumped up and down, something that the immune enjoys as motion increases lymphatic circulation. One lady shared a song she’d heard: Every little cell in my body is happy, every little cell in my body is well. As medical science advances, it’s becoming more and more evident that our ideas and attitudes shape our physiology. There’s truly a biological reaction to our beliefs. We’re either the genius who guides positive gene expression in cellular life or who hastens and restricts healthy genetic messaging. Positive ideas translate into healthy immune system functioning.