There is no ‘quick fix’ or ‘one thing’ you can do to boost your immune system and stay healthy. The body is complex and there are a number of key practices we can do to reduce inflammation and the release of cortisol, which are linked to a healthy immune system. By doing these practices, you can fight off invading viruses, bacteria, and other forms of disease.
1. Keep Stress & Worry Levels Low
Stress & worry releases cortisol in the brain activating your central nervous system which impacts your body in a number of ways. There are various things that people stress about, the most common factors I hear are about their relationships, social environments, work environments, and these can manifest from a simple worrying, through to obsessing.
To lower stress, I encourage the following:
- Healthy boundary setting
- Building healthy and supportive relationships
- Staying informed with fact-based information
- Limit the use of technology in the evening
- Practice meditation
- Practice self-hypnosis
- Visit a therapist who uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy techniques
- Visit a practitioner to re-set the central nervous system and balance the brain
2. Ensure Your Body Has Time To Rest
Get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep before 11:00pm in a dark room without any lights from a cell phone, television, or night lights.
3. Move Your Body
Do some form of 30-60 minutes of exercise daily for 6 days a week. This can be whatever form of exercise you prefer from walking, yoga, Pilates, stretching, swimming, etc.
Massaging is extremely beneficial for stress reduction and as a result, immunity boosting. Even massing your own feet, hands, arms, and legs (or convincing someone in your life to trade massages with you) can be beneficial.
5. Lower use of (or avoid) Alcohol
Alcohol makes it harder for your body to recover from infection. It affects your gut and triggers inflammation. To maintain a healthy immune system it’s important to limit (or eliminate) alcohol consumption.
6. Goal Setting & Weekly Reflections
Develop a map for your short, intermediate, and long-term goals. Revisit this map each week and outline what you can do to move you closer towards your goal. This provides purpose and passion and keeps your mind in a balanced state which lowers cortisol and inflammation to build your immune system.